About Green Cardamom Pods
Green cardamom pods are used as a spice by cooks around the world. They’re quite aromatic and have an unusually complex flavor: pungent, spicy, floral, slightly sweet with hints of citrus. A little goes a long way with this spice, so be conservative if you’re trying it for the first time.
Green cardamom pods are probably best known for their use in Indian dishes such as tikka masala, chicken biryani, chicken korma, tandoori chicken, garam masalas and other curry blends. Ground cardamom is also a key ingredient in these popular spice mixtures: Baharat (Middle Eastern), Ras el hanout (North African), and Berbere (Ethiopian).
In Europe and Scandinavia, green cardamom is sometimes used to flavor breads and pastries. In the Middle East, it’s often added to coffee. Buy cardamom pods to use in savory dishes such as soups, stews, and sauces, as well as sweet dishes like rice pudding, custards, ice cream, cakes, and cookies.
Green cardamom is the most common species of cardamom. When a recipe doesn’t specify, it’s safe to assume they mean green cardamom. Black cardamom has a much earthier flavor and should not be substituted for its green cousin. Also, for recipes that call for ground cardamom we recommend that you still buy cardamom pods whole and then grind them yourself. You may choose to grind whole cardamom pods or just the seeds, but either way, fresh grinding will make a huge difference in the flavor of your dish.
Cardamom is often referred to as the “Queen of Spices”. It also happens to be one of the most expensive spices you can buy — just behind vanilla and saffron.
About the cardamom plant
Green cardamom is a herbaceous, perennial plant that grows up to 13ft tall with long green leaves, small white/purple flowers, and green pods that each contain 15-20 seeds. To make the cardamom spice, the green seed pods are dried and used either whole or ground. Cardamom is native to India, however, Guatemala is now the largest producer and exporter of the spice.