Cardamom is an aromatic spice that one generally associates to the Middle East and the sub-Indian continent. It is widely used in many cuisines, therefore it is quite handy to know all the different types of cardamom substitutes. You can use cardamom in food, in drinks, or as medicine. In some places of the world, people even smoke it – believe it or not!
Because the flavor of cardamom is so specific, you need to know exactly which cardamom substitutes are most suitable for the dish or drink that you are trying to replicate. Find out all there is to know about cardamom and I hope you find the perfect cardamom substitute that your are looking for.
most expensive spice
Cardamom is also known as cardamom and cardamom. The word itself is derived from the Latin word ‘cardamomum‘, where ‘card‘ which means ‘cress‘ and ‘amomum‘ refers to a specific spice plant.
Did you know that cardamom one of the world’s most expensive spices? In fact, with respect to price per weight, it is only surpassed by vanilla and saffron. Not to worry, cardamom substitutes won’t be as expensive!
To learn more about cardamom, click here.
what does cardamom look like
The cardamom plant has long green broad leaves that can grow quite large. It is native to Asia, more specifically southern India. Today, it is still cultivated in this region. However, farmers grow it commercially all around the world.
When it comes to the seeds, you can recognize cardamom by its green or brown/black pods. They are almost triangular sometimes and have a very thin outer shell.
Cardamom has a very specific flavour, that’s why it belongs to one of the favourite spices in the world. When you eat a cardamom pod, or ground cardamom as well, you’ll see that at first, the spice releases a very pungent and aromatic flavour.
Once you let it settle in your mouth, you’ll see that there are subtle hints of citrus notes, mint and even some notes of smokiness. It’s a very fragrant spice that has that ‘wow’ factor when it comes to seasoning food. That’s why your cardamom substitutes need to be equally powerful to match the strong herbal flavour profile of the cardamom.
types of cardamom
There are in fact two types of cardamom. The first being the green cardamom. You might also know it as the ‘true cardamom”. You can find it in the regions between India and Malaysia.
Green cardamom is the more expensive and the more popular one. It is harvested when it is young and generally, one uses the whole pods. Its powder is often used in the Middle East for sprinkling desserts.
The second type of cardamom is black or brown cardamom. The pods are larger and more robust. They are native to the Himalaya region all the way to India. When it comes to black cardamom, the pods are generally dried and used more for savoury dishes.
You can use black cardamom for medicinal purposes when it comes to curing digestive problems. All you boil the pods in boiling water and make a black cardamom tea.
Cardamom has always been regularly present in Asian cuisines, especially those of India and the Middle East. It is a favourite amongst savoury and sweet dishes. Many people top rice with cardamom for extra fragrance. In other dishes, you might find it in sauces, garam masalas and tagines.
You’ll even find it ice creams, cakes, macaroons. You name it! In the Middle East, people drink coffee with cardamom – Arabic coffee. So, it is a very versatile ingredient that will elevate any dish or drink once you add the cardamom in. In fact, I am sure that you’ve come across cardamom in a dish before.
Can you think of your last cardamom dish? Leave a comment below!
I believe after reading about these cardamom substitutes, you can tackle any cardamom recipe you might have in plan for lunch or dinner.