Wednesday, December 4, 2013

How to Use Whole Cardamom

Whole Cardamom

It's a well-known fact that whole spices are superior to pre-ground ones because powdered spices can go stale quicker. When you grind spices immediately prior to use, you enjoy the benefits of fuller, fresher aroma.

Want to take it to a whole 'nother level? Toast whole spices on a sauté pan or baking sheet prior to grinding. It's similar to toasting nuts prior to use. It releases more flavor.

Even though working with whole spices is slightly inconvenient, the pay off is worth it.

I recently learned that warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg (especially), and cardamom can promote relaxation and sleep. If you are (East) Asian-American like me, these spices might be foreign to you. But, if you enjoy Chai tea, you will like these spices.

Last week, after dining in Brea Downtown, my husband and I popped into World Market to browse. Coincidentally, they were having specials on spices. Score!

I have to admit, I did not know what to do with the whole cardamom. Let alone, it was my first time actually seeing it in person. So, I searched to Google for answers.

In a (nut)shell, you need to separate the cardamom seeds from the outer layer.

Here's how I made fresh, ground cardamom at home:

  • Place cardamom pods on parchment paper Only grind what you need
  • Fold paper over to cover pods and go over with rolling pin You won't need to use much pressure
  • Separate shells from seeds
  • Place seeds in spice grinder or mortar I used my Magic Bullet
  • Grind until you get a fine, even texture
Enjoy in spiced teas or milks, baking, and cooking.

How do you use cardamom? Please comment below.

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