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The name "Cardamon" is used for herbs within two genera of the ginger family Zingiberaceae namely Elettaria and Amomum. Both varieties take the form of a small seedpod triangular in cross-section and spindle-shaped with a thin papery outer shell and small black seeds. Elettaria pods are light green in color while Amomum pods are larger and dark brown.Both forms of Cardamon are used as flavorings in both food and drink as cooking spices and as a medicine. Elettaria Cardamonum (the usual type of Cardamon) is used as a spice a masticatory and in medicine. It is also smoked sometimes.
Cardamon has a strong unique taste with an intensely aromatic fragrance.Black Cardamon has a distinctly more astringent aroma though not bitter with a coolness similar to mint though with a different aroma. It is a common ingredient in Indian cooking and is often used in baking in Nordic countries such as in the Finnish sweet bread pulla or in the Scandinavian bread Julekake.Green Cardamon is one of the most expensive spices by weight but little is needed to impart the flavor.Cardamon is best stored in pod form because once the seeds are exposed or ground they quickly lose their flavor. However high-quality ground Cardamon is often more readily (and cheaply) available and is an acceptable substitute. For recipes requiring whole Cardamon pods a generally accepted equivalent is 10 pods equals 1½ teaspoons of ground Cardamon.
In the Middle East green Cardamon powder is used as a spice for sweet dishes as well as traditional flavouring in coffee and tea. Cardamon pods are ground together with coffee beans to produce a powdered mixture of the two which is boiled with water to make coffee. Cardamon is also used in some extent in savoury dishes. In Arabic Cardamon is called "al-Hayl". In Persian it is called 'Hel'. In some Middle Eastern countries coffee and Cardamon are often ground in a wooden mortar and cooked together in a mihbaz an oven using wood or gas to produce mixtures that are as much as forty percent Cardamon.In South Asia green Cardamon is often used in traditional Indian sweets and in Masala chai (spiced tea). Black Cardamon is sometimes used in garam masala for curries. It is occasionally used as a garnish in basmati rice and other dishes. It is often referred to as fat Cardamon due its size ('Moti Elaichi'). Individual seeds are sometimes chewed in much the same way as chewing-gum. It has also been known to be used for gin making.
Green Cardamon in South Asia is broadly used to treat infections in teeth and gums to prevent and treat throat troubles congestion of the lungs and pulmonary tuberculosis inflammation of eyelids and also digestive disorders. It also is used to break up kidney stones and gall stones and was reportedly used as an antidote for both snake and scorpion venom.
Among other species varieties and cultivars Amomum villosum cultivated in China Laos and Vietnam is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat stomach-aches constipation dysentery and other digestion problems.
Do not take internally
Do not use on children