Green cardamom, "queen of spices" in India, is indeed one of the most original and enchanting ones. From the zingiberaceae family, this beautiful plant is grown mainly in India, Sri Lanka or Guatemala. Naturally green and perfumed, the pods are only dried. Their powerful fragrance is very aromatic, hot and peppery but also camphor and menthol, durable and slightly numbing, making it a sovereign spice. We sometimes find white cardamom, these are the same pods, originally green, discoloured with sulfur and soap baths for an aesthetic purpose, they are less aromatic than green ones. Cardamom is used, either peeled: by opening the fruit to release the small black-grey seeds to be mortared (10-20 per pod); or whole in infusion in simmered dishes or cooking water.
Traditionally used in Indian cuisine, green pods are an essential element of many dishes such as curry, dhal, rice. Cardamom powder is also present in classic mixtures such as masal garam or some curries. In sweet and savoury we find it in chutneys recipes. In Europe, cardamom is associated in salted with charcuterie or fish.
Desserts are also greatly improved by cardamom: fruit salads, cakes, lassis, ice cream, gingerbread. It goes perfectly with chocolate: mousse, fondant, ice cream...
Green cardamom is used in several traditional drinks in different parts of the world: it is added to coffee in the Middle East, mixed with other spices to prepare chaï masala in India, mulled wine in Europe or hypocras since the Middle Ages. It is also an ingredient of choice for flavoring punch and rhum arrangé.
Chewing green cardamom seeds is very pleasant and refreshes the breath thanks to its fresh and minty aroma. It is also possible to neutralize the stubborn smell of garlic by this means.
Cardamom has been recognized for millennia in Indian Ayurvedic medicine and Chinese medicine for its anti-acide, carminative, stomachic, appetizer and anti-nausea digestive properties.