In this brief guide, we will address the query, “What is cardamom used for?” We will also discuss the nature of cardamom as well as its culinary and medicinal uses.
What is cardamom used for?
Cardamom is popularly used as an aromatic spice in different cuisines, beverages, and bakery items. Due to its diuretic, antioxidant, and antiemetic properties, it is popular not just in the culinary world but is also used for different medicinal purposes.
In fact, cardamom seeds are also used in making medicines. This has even earned it the title of “Queen of spices”.
It is used for different digestion problems including heartburn, intestinal spasms, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), intestinal gas, constipation, and liver and gallbladder complaints. It is also used to relieve urinary problems.
What kind of spice is cardamom?
Cardamom is an aromatic spice from the ginger family with an oblong outer covering. The tiny black seeds inside the green pods are a potent spice. Cardamom is usually used in ground form or the whole pods are crushed and used in your recipes.
The flavors of cardamom are quite intense, the words sweet, pungent, lemony, minty, peppery, and floral can be used to describe its taste and aroma. There are two main varieties available:
- Black cardamom (Amomum subulatum) – native to Nepal, India, and Bhutan
- Green cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) – native to India and Malaysia
What are the culinary uses of cardamom?
Cardamom is a versatile spice used in both sweet as well as savory dishes. Due to its sweet aroma and warm flavors, many people prefer to add it to their recipes. Some of the uses of cardamom in cooking are:
- Cardamom is a must in curry dishes, soups, sauces, and gravies. It adds a bit of warmth and sweetness to your curries.
- It is also very ideal for hot beverages like masala tea, coffee, and smoothies. It is also used to make cocktails.
- Cardamom pairs well with chicken, red meat, lentils, salmon, and rice as well as with other warm spices like nutmeg and cinnamon.
- It’s also used in marinades and spice mix.
- It is used to make different bakery items like cakes, bread, pastries, cookies, bread pudding, and desserts.
- It is also used in making different spice blends like curry powder and garam masala.
- Cardamom also pairs well with Indian rice pudding also known as kheer and biryani.
What are the medicinal uses of cardamom?
Due to its impressive medical properties, cardamom is not new to the medicinal world. It has been used in Ayurveda since ancient times. Cardamom has many proven health benefits. Some of its uses are:
- Due to its diuretic and antioxidant properties, cardamom may help people with high blood pressure.
- Its anti-inflammatory properties help to fight against chronic diseases. The antioxidants also protect the cells from possible damage and prevent inflammation.
- Cardamom is also used for different digestive problems. It also acts as a herbal tonic to relieve abdominal discomfort, nausea, and vomiting.
- Due to its minty aroma, cardamom is also used to treat bad breath and improve oral health for a very long time. It may also have the ability to kill common mouth bacteria and prevent cavities.
- The oils and extracts of cardamom have antibacterial effects which help to fight bacteria and treat infections. This also helps in food poisoning and other stomach issues.
- Cardamom may improve breathing by better stimulation of oxygen uptake. It is also used in aromatherapy, where it can provide a stimulating odor that enhances your body’s ability to use oxygen during exercise.
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- It is also found effective in weight loss and fat reduction.
Can we use cinnamon instead of cardamom?
Because of its unique flavors, it will be hard to find a replacement for cardamom, but cinnamon is the closest to cardamom in terms of its warmth and hint of sweetness.
For even better replication, you can blend equal portions of cinnamon and nutmeg. If you don’t have nutmeg, you can add ground ginger and ground cloves to the cinnamon.
In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “What is cardamom used for?” We have also discussed the nature of cardamom as well as its culinary and medicinal uses.