WHAT IS CARDAMOM?
Cardamom has a sweet taste with an enticing aroma. A popular addition to Indian and Middle Eastern spice blends, cardamom is delicious when used in cakes, pastries, stews and curries.
VARIETIES OF CARDAMOM: GREEN VS. BLACK
Green cardamom: Typically sold in spice markets and grocery stores, green cardamom is the most common variety. With a sweet-tasting flavor that’s comparable to eucalyptus, green cardamom is a versatile spice that’s great for both sweet and savory dishes, including desserts. Green cardamom is frequently used in Indian cuisine.
Black cardamom: Commonly used in savory dishes, like curries and stews, black cardamom presents a smoky flavor accompanied by minty notes of menthol.
TYPES OF CARDAMOM: PODS VS. GROUND
Cardamom pods: Originating from the cardamom plant, these pods encase tiny, dark seeds that can be used in their entirety or ground into a fine powder. Cardamom pods are typically found in specialty markets and health food stores and have a stronger flavor than ground cardamom.
Ground cardamom: Readily found in grocery stores, this form of cardamom is convenient to measure and use in recipes.
To extract maximum cardamom flavor, lightly toasting the pods before grinding into a powder or incorporating them whole into a culinary creation is highly recommended.
WHAT DOES CARDAMOM TASTE LIKE?
Cardamom has a truly distinct flavor profile, exhibiting hints of sweetness complemented with spiciness and smokiness. A complex yet versatile spice, cardamom is celebrated for its multi-dimensional taste and delightful aromatic quality. Cardamom harmonizes beautifully with warming spices, such as cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, to infuse dishes with captivating essence. Bringing forth a medley of flavor, this remarkable spice can elevate a variety of dishes, like stews, soups and curries, baked goods, desserts, and beverages such as coffee or tea. Whether you seek a delicate touch of sweetness or an explosion of flavor, cardamom is a fantastic addition to your collection of spices.
FEATURES & BENEFITS OF CARDAMOM
- It exudes a warm, uplifting aroma
- Cardamom’s unique flavor enhances the flavor profile of numerous dishes
- This spice allows you to explore recipes from around the world
WHAT IS CARDAMOM USED FOR?
An essential ingredient in the spice blend known as garam masala, cardamom finds its place in a wide range of dishes, including stews, curries, and popular drinks such as coffee and chai tea. In addition to savory recipes, you’ll also find the warm essence of cardamom in desserts and baked goods, such as break pudding, cookies, and cakes.
ALTERNATIVES TO CARDAMOM
In case cardamom is unavailable, there are alternative spices — such as allspice, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and star anise — boast comparable flavors that can serve as a substitute in certain dishes. Although these replacement spices may not replicate the exact taste of cardamom, they contribute sweet flavor and floral, woody undertones that can elevate your recipe. It’s important to keep in mind that you may need to incorporate larger amounts of these alternate spices as they possess a milder intensity of flavor when compared to cardamom.
FLAVORS THAT GO WITH CARDAMOM
Elevate your meals with herbs and spices that are a great cardamom flavor pairing, such as:
- Curry: A fragrant blend of spices used in Indian cuisine to add golden color and warm flavor. Add to curries, pilafs, vegetables, deviled eggs and chicken or lamb dishes.
- Cinnamon: Our pure cinnamon lends a warm, sweet aroma to everything from morning toast to cookies, and it also has a savory side, with earthy, mahogany-colored flavors.
- Coriander: Intensely light, lemony flavor that makes Indian and Middle Eastern curries and couscous sing. Coriander brings out the savory juiciness of roasted meats, and adds a uniquely spicy twist to baked goods.
- Cumin: Cumin is one of the top 10 selling spices in the U.S. The spice dates back to Egypt 4,000 years ago, and McCormick Cumin is hand-harvested, sun-dried and carefully screened so you know you're getting nothing but the purest flavor. Add this spice for a warm flavor and earthy color to everyday soups, stews, meats and vegetables.
HOW LONG DO SPICES LAST?
While dried herbs and spices typically last for 1–2 years, there are some exceptions worth noting when it comes to the shelf life of spices. Maintain the freshness of your spices and herbs with these helpful storage tips.
GRAB YOUR CARDAMOM PRODUCTS!
AND TRY THESE RECIPES THAT USE CARDAMOM:
- Gunpowder Seasoning
- Carrot Cardamom Ice Cream
- Chai Simple Syrup
- Street Truck Style Chicken Jalfrezi in Naan Wrap
Want to create a meal plan for your cardamom recipes? Need help planning your weekly meals and want to try new recipes? Save your favorite food, dessert, drink recipes and organize your ingredients with the McCormick Meal Planner.