Health Learning Series
The Magic of Cardamoms For Cooking and Health
Table of Contents
How to Grow Cardamoms
Growing Cardamoms from Seeds.
Getting Your Seeds Ready for Sowing
When to Harvest Cardamoms
How to Store Cardamoms
Traditional Spiced Masala Chai
Making Traditional Chai
Where to Use Black Cardamoms
Traditional Noodle Soup
Traditional Tandoori Masala
Cardamoms for Healing
Throat and Chest Infections
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Cardamoms are considered to be one of the most expensive and precious spices in the world today, taking their place along with saffron, cinnamon, cloves and vanilla.
So what is the magic about this fruit, which has made it the cause for sailors and soldiers going out to conquer lands where this plant was a native and grown extensively? Historians say that this plant is native to the Indian subcontinent, and that is why the tropical climate made this plant flourish all over Nepal, Bhutan, India, and surrounding areas.
You may find cardamom in the market, packaged in green seed pods, which have to be removed so that you can find aromatic green seeds inside. The shell is papery and is equally aromatic as are the seeds. Guatemala is a top producing country for cardamoms, which are either black or green in color. Both of them belong to the same family, but are two different species.
The green cardamoms which you enjoy sprinkling on your desserts , or just enjoy chewing on the seeds to freshen your breath are Elettaria, [this name has been taken from the traditional ancient name for cardamoms –elaichi- taken from the original Sanskrit ellaka] while the dark brown larger pods are Amomum. [This word has been derived from the Greek word amonos Or One without Reproach.]
Many researchers believe that this is the spice referred to in the New Testament, – a large portion of which was originally written in Greek – and called amomon. In the same way, a priceless spice tablet going back more than 3000 years, and found in recent excavations in Mycenae in ancient palatial archives, talks about this precious spice-amomon.
The great Greek botanist Theophrastus described this spice in 450 BCE, but he was not very certain about whether it originally came from Persia or from India. All he knew that it came from the mysterious lands of spices.
Surprisingly enough, this family belongs to the same family as the well-known herb- ginger. The family is Gingiferaceae , with different genus and species making up the members of this family. Read more…