Cardamon Pods and seeds Green & Black cardamon
It is a popular spice often used along with cloves. Cardamom pod is a long oval shaped green pod. When dried it changes colour to light green. Each pod contains about 10 to 12 tiny aromatic dark brown seeds. Cardamom has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic fragrance. Black cardamom has a distinctly more astringent aroma, though not bitter, with coolness similar to mint. It is one of the most expensive spices by weight, and little is needed to impart the flavour. Cardamom is best stored in the pod form, because once the seeds are exposed or ground, they quickly lose their flavour. The pods containing the seeds are used whole or split when cooked in Indian meals. Normally, the seeds are bruised and fried before adding main ingredients to the pan, or pounded with other spices as required.
It features in curries and is an essential ingredient in pilau rice dishes. Cardamom is often included in sweet dishes and drinks. Partially because of its high price, it is mostly used in festivity dishes. In some Middle Eastern countries, coffee and cardamom are often cooked and ground together in a wooden mortar to produce mixtures that are as much as forty percent cardamom.
A stimulant and carminative, cardamom is used in Western medicine as a flavouring and basis for medicinal preparations for indigestion and flatulence using other substances, entering into a synergetic relationship with them. It is broadly used to treat infections in teeth and gums, to prevent and treat throat troubles, for congestion of the lungs and pulmonary tuberculosis, in inflammation of eyelids and also digestive disorders. It is also reportedly used as an antidote for both snake and scorpion venom.