Cardamom as a Food and Beverage Flavour
Cardamom’s strong unique taste and intense aroma makes it a popular spice in food and beverage preparations. While it is liberally used in Middle Eastern cuisine, cultures as diverse as Nordic and Scandinavian, Indian, North African and Far Eastern use cardamom in their preparations as well.
As a spice, cardamom is so versatile, it goes into biryani, curries, meat and vegetarian dishes, as easily as it does into teas, confectioneries and desserts. Some recipes use the whole cardamom pods while others use it in the seed or powder form. It is best stored in the pod, as exposed or ground seeds quickly lose their flavour.
It is a common ingredient in Indian cooking. It is also often used in baking in the Nordic countries, where it is used in traditional treats such as the Scandinavian Yule bread Julekake, the Swedish kardemummabullar sweet bun, and Finnish sweet bread pulla. In the Middle East, green cardamom powder is used as a spice for sweet dishes, as well as traditional flavouring in coffee and tea.
In Asia, cardamom is a frequent component in spice mixes, such as Indian masala and Thai curry pastes. It is often used in traditional Indian sweets (mithai) and in masala chai (spiced tea). It is also often used as a garnish in basmati rice and other dishes. Even on its own, cardamom is a great masticatory or mouth freshener.
In Korea, medicinal is used in traditional tea called jeho-tang.