Learn About Cardamom

Author: Chef Toby

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What Is Cardamom?

Cardamom is a spice that is popular in Middle Eastern, Indian, and Swedish cuisine. Cardamom pods contain many seeds inside, but can be used either whole or grounded. There are two main variations of cardamom; black and green. 

Learn About Cardamom

What Does Cardamom Taste Like?

Green cardamom has a sweet, pungent citrus flavor that is slightly minty, while black cardamom has a smokey and minty flavor. 

How Can You Use Cardamom?

Typically, recipes that call for black cardamom require using entire pods during the cooking process and then throwing them out before serving. For recipes that call for ground green cardamom, that can be extracted by toasting the cardamom pods and grinding them in a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder. Cardamom is common in the traditional Indian spice mix, garam masala, Turkish coffee, and in Swedish pastries and drinks, among many other dishes. 

Where Can You Buy Cardamom?

You can find both whole and ground pods of green cardamom in most supermarkets in the spice aisle. Find black cardamom at a specialty international food stores. 

How Do You Store Cardamom?

Store both whole pods and ground cardamom in an airtight container in a cool and dry place. Entire cardamom pods will last anywhere from three to four years, but ground cardamom will lose its flavor much faster. 

Fun Fact About Cardamom:

Have the hiccups? Brew a cup of cardamom tea to help them go away! Cardamom is said to help relax the muscles in your diaphragm,  which is the muscle that helps control your breathing. 

Did You Know?

There is also a variety of cardamom called white cardamom. White cardamom is green cardamom that undergoes a bleaching process so that it doesn’t change the color of light foods. White cardamom has a lighter and milder flavor than both the green and black varieties. 

Recipes Using Cardamom

Roasted Cardamom Chicken

In a small bowl, combine softened butter, ground cardamom, orange zest garlic, ginger, salt, and pepper. Spread the butter mixture all over a whole chicken and roast it in the oven for an Indian spin on a classic roasted chicken. Serve along with roasted vegetables like sweet potato or butternut squash.

Browned Butter Cardamom Cookies

Using browned butter adds a nutty flavor to these cookies. Make the cookie dough with flour, an egg yolk, sugar, vanilla, cardamom, and the browned butter. Bake small dough balls on a baking sheet for ten minutes and top with powdered sugar after baking.

Cardamom Tea

Make this classic Indian tea at home with your own spice blend! Coarsely grind cardamom, cinnamon, and peppercorns. In a saucepan, combine water, ground ginger, and the spice mix. Bring to a simmer and add milk, black tea, and sweetener (we love maple syrup!) Strain the tea before serving to remove the large spice chunks.

Cardamom Cumin Rice

Jazz up your standard steamed rice by adding two teaspoons of whole cardamom pods and one teaspoon of cumin seeds during cooking.

Cardamom Spiced Carrots

Combine butter, cardamom, brown sugar, and freshly grated orange zest in a saucepan and melt over medium heat. Drizzle the sauce over steamed carrots for a spiced, sweet side dish!


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