Organic Ground Cardamom Standard - 35g details and description
Organic cardamom is prized by Indian, Middle Eastern and Scandinavian cooks. There is nothing quite like the smell of ground organic cardamom with its wonderful sweet, spicy, warm and aromatic character that lifts rice puddings, sweet potatoes and carrots, as well as being essential for many curries. Steenbergs organic ground cardamom (or organic cardamom powder) predominantly comes from Fairtrade spice growers in India and Sri Lanka.
Cardamom is a tropical perennial plant that grows in the shade, often beneath larger shade trees like areca nut, disliking windy weather. Cardamom has long, arching lance-like leaves that are 1-2 metres long (3-6 ft), which are shiny on top and dull underneath. Cardamom plants are grown from rhizomes. The leaves are large and dramatic, but the stems emerge from the base of the plant and spread out close to the base, where small white flowers blossom before the pods grow.
The bright green and plump cardamom pods are hand picked from the base and are largely flavourless in the fresh form. The fresh cardamom pods are then dried in a large shed, often helped by industrial drying systems that run through the drying area. After 3 - 4 days, the cardamom pods have become dry and highly aromatic. The seeds are inside the dry husks of the papery outer husk and are dark brown in colour, with a strong medicinal eucalypt aroma and are slightly oily. For further details on cardamom, try Gernot Katzer's Spice Pages or the BBC.
The taste of the seeds is warm, camphorous and eucalypt, slightly astringent and refreshing on the tongue. While cardamom is a pungent spice, green cardamom works well in curries and we use the powdered cardamom is used in mixes ranging from organic lebkuchen spice mix through to Madras curry powder.
For recipes using cardamom, go to the Steenbergs Recipe Pages and type cardamom into the recipe box or try the BBC website.