black cardamom

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Also Known as
Badi elaichi, moti elaichi

Description
Black cardamom has a distinctly more astringent aroma, though not bitter, with coolness similar to mint, though with a different aroma. In India, black cardamom is felt superior for spicy and rustic dishes and can be used in liberal amounts. The fruit is 4 to 6 times size of small cardamom. There are many distinct species of black cardamom, ranging in pod size from 2 cm to more than 5 cm with different tastes. Large cardamom is the dried fruit of a perennial herbaceous plant and its quality characteristics are different from that of small cardamom.

How to Select
It is best to buy cardamom in the pods, which are removed and discarded. You can also buy cardamom seeds however; they lose much of their flavor. Ground cardamom has even less flavor than the fresher ones.

To make black cardamom powder, grind the whole cardamom in a mixer to a fine powder. Pass the ground powder through a sieve to remove the outen skin. Store in a air-tight container and use as rewuired.

Culinary Uses
" Black cardamoms enhance and intensify the taste of other ingredients if used after crushing a bit and then used. It has an acceptable taste, flavor and aroma that stimulates the taste buds when used in rice and savory dal preparations.
" Besides a wide range of beverages and sweets. In India, it is a popular ingredient of Pan Masala.
" Black cardamom pods can be used in soups, chowders, casseroles, and marinades for smoky flavor, much in the way bacon is used.
" Try black cardamom powder to flavor rice pudding, cakes, ginger fig chutney, payasam etc.
" In India, cardamom is one of the spices used to make Garam Masala and thus tastes great in savory recipes like tandoori or vegetable dishes.
" It also works well in herbal infusions and health tonics, chai and even coffee.

How to Store
Store it in a cool dry place. It should be kept in an air-tight jar as may loose its aroma. It will stay good for a year in dry conditions.

Health Benefits
" Cardamom is used to soothe digestion problems.
" It is also used to treat respiratory problems such as asthma or people suffering from other kinds of respiratory spasms.
" Cardamom has anti-inflammatory properties, reducing muscle spasms.




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