A few days ago my father-in-law returned from India, from a trip that he dreamed of for a long time. A foodie, he knew how to walk through those typical markets where spices abound and of course he returned home with some little bottles to give away. I got the one of cardamomMaybe because he knows that I like to cook and that’s how I started to do more research on this herb.
Although I knew that in India it is a widely used ingredient, I was a little lost about its uses. I recognized its potent aroma but didn’t quite know what to do with this culinary relic. I started reading a bit and discovered that cardamom can be used in apple pies or meat pies, in chicken dishes and also in pickles, something very common in Germany, where it is used in delicatessen.
Cardamom is one of the basic ingredients of Indian cuisineone of the great elements of the famous garam masala and many curries. To achieve the perfect flavor, it is best to use seeds fresh from the plant and then grind them and use them at the precise moment, just when we need them.
Cardamom is an herb that belongs to the Cygiberaceae family and its scientific name is elettaria cardamomum. It is a product originating from southern India as well as from countries such as Burma, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Vietnam, although it is also possible to find it in Guatemala, a country that produces high quality cardamom.
Although the plant can reach a height that exceeds four meters, the part that is used are the seeds, which develop inside the fruits, which are ovoid-shaped capsules that have a pale green hue and are very aromatic. The seeds, meanwhile, are reddish-brown in color and must be collected before ripening and then washed and dried in the sun. to be bleached.
Cardamom also has flowers, which are green, with purple streaks and a white tip. The stems of the plants are born from the rhizomes of the plant, which are very strong.
If you would like to grow cardamomYou will have to be patient as the plant takes more than three years to bear its first fruits. After that moment, it is possible to collect them although, as we said, you have to pay attention to the time to do it before the seed is fully ripe, thus preventing them from leaving the fruit.
You can either indoors or in a greenhouse. The process should begin in early spring as this is the time for the plant to propagate through the division of rhizomes.