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Uses for Cardamom

Slofoodgroup Team December 25, 2021

Cardamom is considered a warming spice, but unlike other, more common warming spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon, it does not easily overpower a dish when used prudently. Perhaps it is its innate subtlety that leaves so many culinary aficionados sifting through a mental list of adjectives to illustrate its glorious flavor, yet coming up short of the perfect descriptors. Some suggest it has qualities similar to anise, allspice, and citrus, while others insist it is comparable to that of nutmeg or cinnamon. Regardless how it is described, most do agree that it has a very complex flavor profile, which enables its uses to span all types of dishes, both savory and sweet. 

The uses for this  fragrant little pod don’t end in the kitchen either! It has long been utilized in natural remedies far and wide, with loads of research suggesting effectiveness. So whether you are looking to liven up your kitchen or your home apothecary, cardamom has you covered.  Let’s take a look at 5 ways you can bring more cardamom into your life. 

5 Ways to Use Cardamom in the Kitchen and Beyond

Elevate flavor in soups, stews, and curries.

Because cardamom is innately a warming spice, it is a perfect ingredient to add to soups, stews, curries, and basically any other comfort food you can think of. In fact, you might find that it is already on the ingredient list for many of your recipes. We recommend placing a few whole pods into a spice sachet so you can retrieve them prior to eating, as the pods themselves can be a bit woody and unpleasant to bite into, but feel free to toss them directly into the cooking pot, if you’d like. Another option is to grind them, along with other spices to make a fragrant seasoning blend, like we did with this DIY Garam Masala Blend. 

Give your cocktails an upgrade.

Like vanilla and Ceylon cinnamon, cardamom possesses a delicate sweetness, which makes it a wonderful, yet unexpected choice for balancing intensity of spirits and flavoring craft cocktails. So whether you have your heart set on an Old Fashioned, a Tom Collins, or even a Sidecar, we highly recommend enlivening it with a bit of green cardamom. We especially love it in this Vanilla Cardamom Pisco Sour!

Concoct comforting, fragrant, and delicious warm beverages.

We’ve all heard of chai, but Chai would not be chai without cardamom. Virtually every recipe for this popular, caffeinated beverage from India. It’s spicy and sweet and oh-so-delicious. If you’ve never tried making it from scratch, it’s time to start because the result is an unmeasurable difference in flavor.  We are absolutely obsessed with this DIY Vanilla Chai recipe. If you are avoiding caffeine, try cardamom milk—a soothing and therapeutic milk also referred to as elaichi milk. 

Incorporate it into your health routine. 

Not only is cardamom wonderful in food and beverage applications, it is also touted for its health benefits, which are suggested to range from aiding in treating digestion issues to fighting bacteria (try crushing a green cardamom pod into your water for a flavorful addition that will freshen your breath).  

Add it to your baked goods.

From doughnuts and cinnamon rolls to pumpernickel and brioche and every sugar glazed, cream-filled  delight between, cardamom is an incredible addition to any baked good. Try these Saffron Sticky Buns with Maple and Cardamom—you’ll love them.