Floral? Zesty? Crips? Well, It can be a little challenging to describe the taste of cardamom, and your brain will revolve around these words when chewing this green spice. Cardamom is one of the most prominent Indian spices you must have tasted in your “Chai” or Indian desserts or Scandinavian baked goods. In fact, you can find it in some Indian cuisines as well, where an intense, slightly sweet aroma is required. The spice originating in India is now available worldwide and used in many recipes. Small pods are plucked from the plant and sun-dried to restore their natural scents and flavour. Some people even compare its aroma to that of mint.
There are two kinds of cardamom, and both can be used in a limitless number of ways. These are differentiated by the colour and size of the pods — green and small, black and bigger. However, green cardamom is the most common kind used for culinary purposes as it blends really well with other spices present in the dishes. In this post, we will talk about green cardamom, its impressive benefit, how to use it in cooking and other uses apart from cooking.
Benefits of green cardamom
Here are a few health benefits of cardamom, backed by science.
Lowers blood pressure
Cardamom can be beneficial for those dealing with high blood pressure. In one trial, researchers gave 3 gms of cardamom powder daily to 20 adults with newly diagnosed high blood pressure. When tests were repeated after 12 weeks, Blood pressure readings dramatically dropped to a normal range. The high quantities of antioxidants present in cardamom might be the reason for the positive results in this case. By the end of the trial, the subjects’ antioxidant status had grown by 90%. Blood pressure reduction has been linked to antioxidant intake. Researchers also believe that it may lower blood pressure because of the spice’s diuretic action, which can encourage urination to eliminate water that accumulates in the body, such as around the heart.
May fight cancer
Cardamom’s components might be able to combat cancerous cells. According to studies, cardamom powder can boost the activity of specific cancer-fighting enzymes. The spice might also improve the tumour-attacking capacity of natural killer cells. In one study, scientists fed one group of mice 500 mg of ground cardamom per kg (227 mg per pound) of weight each day, while the other two groups of mice were subjected to a substance that induces skin cancer. Compared to more than 90% of the control group, just 29% of the cardamom-eating group had acquired cancer after 12 weeks. Similar findings have been found in studies using cardamom and human cancer cells. According to one study, a certain spice ingredient prevented the growth of oral cancer cells in test tubes.
Uses in cooking or otherwise
Elaichi, or Cardamom, has sorted its place in the Indian kitchen. However, the blend of flavours might confuse you on how to use it in your dishes. You can combine this spice any way you like or as the recipe instructs, whether it is with a sweet or savoury dish. Cardamom is a common ingredient in Indian food, from curries to our favourite biryani. This spice gives kheer and Phirni a pleasant flavour when it is added in small amounts. Furthermore, this spice is added to a lot of drinks. So, it is possible to confirm this beautiful spice’s flexibility. It is frequently used to make tea and goes well with meat preparations. This spice is a common ingredient in baked goods like Nankhatai and where it’s used as a flavouring. Still confused? You can grind a few pods and add the powder to your garam masala. This is the easiest way to use it.
Other than cooking, cardamom is used for its medicinal properties as well. As we already discussed, a few compounds found in cardamom have potential health benefits; the benefits need not be gained via food as there are several other ways to incorporate this green herb into your life.
- Due to its fragrance, it is a vital ingredient in several skincare products. Some brands use it for its anti-inflammatory properties, which soothe your skin.
- Cardamom can help elevate any irritation and calm your throat if you have a sore or cold throat. You can boil cardamom in warm milk and consume it once a day. Or chew a pod to absorb all the nutrients.
- Do recurring hiccups bother you? This green herb can help. Cardamom has muscle-relaxing properties that will ease hiccups. All you have to do is consume a pod with warm water.
Green cardamom is a powerful spice known for its intense flavour, calming aroma and remarkable medicinal properties. Whatever you wish to seek out of this herb, there are a limitless number of ways to do so. Enrich your dishes with it, or carefully add its seeds to your skincare regime. So, if you want to ensure that your kitchen is always filled with heartwarming fragrance when you are cooking, make sure to pop a few cardamom pods in your dishes.