Why the name Cardamom? Name cardamom has obtained from the Latin word ‘cardamomum.' The scientific name Elettaria came from its original local Indian Sanskrit name ‘Ela.' It has many names like Valdosta, Velchi, Elakkai, Elakkay in many languages in India. Cardamom is Known as Elaichi or Ilaichi in Hindi all over the Indian Subcontinent.
Scientific Name - Elettaria cardamomum
Is cardamom fruit? Cardamom is a seed pod of trees belonging to the Elettaria and Amomum genre. Cardamom can be classified into two types; Green cardamom (Chhoti Ilaichi) and Black Cardamom (Badi Ilaichi). Both the cardamom differs in tastes. Green cardamom is small in size as compared to black cardamom.
The skin of both cardamoms are according to their names as green cardamom has a pale green color, and black cardamom has a grey, black cover. Small black seeds are present inside the outer covering. I am covering all the information about green cardamom in this article.
How does cardamom taste & what change in taste occur when added to food?
Cardamom has intense aroma and fragrance which makes it an essential ingredient of many sweet dishes. Cardamom tastes a little minty which is the reason some people chew it after the meal. The taste of cardamom is very strong that a pinch of cardamom powder adds a good fragrance to the recipe.
How cardamom plays Its Role In Kitchen And Become Successful In Flavoring?
# Fragrance To Sweets: Cardamom is used to give aroma to Indian sweets like Kheer, Laddoo, Mithai, Rasmalai, Halwa, Shrikhand.
# Garam Masala: Cardamom is one of the ingredients in Indian Garam Masala powder also called Hot Spices which are used to make Indian curry dishes.
# Enhancing Taste Ice-cream: Milk ice-creams flavors like vanilla, Mawa Kulfi, Cashew ice-cream contains cardamom which makes the taste and aroma delectable.
# Condensed Milk: Milk is condensed, and it is added with some flakes of saffron, cashew, almonds, and a pinch of cardamom to make Rabadi or Masala Milk which tastes good.
# Hot Beverages: Cardamom is added to hot beverages like black tea, herbal tea, green tea, Turkish coffee.
# Mouth Freshener: Cardamom seeds are coated with a silver foil making it look glistening; consumed with sugar and fennel seeds are used as the mouth freshener.
# Rules Western Dishes: Cardamom is added to pudding, pancake batter, cookies, cakes, etc.
The Nutrition Provided By This Cozy Queen Of Spices
Cardamom provides vitamins like vitamin C and vitamin B6 and minerals like calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and copper. Cardamom also contains some essential oils; the oil content of cardamom depends on the storage conditions.
Let Us See How Cardamom Works As A Medicine
Cardamom is used in ancient and Ayurvedic medicines due to its medicinal properties which are useful to the human body and affect even if consumed in food. Following health benefits are seen by the consumption of cardamom in the daily diet
# Helps To Digest Food: Eating cardamom seeds after lunch or dinner makes the stomach produce enzymes useful for the digestion of food. The aroma of cardamom helps to activate our test buds and sensory elements which ease the digestion.
# Brings Good Mood: Cardamom helps to fight mood swings and fights depression. The oils present in cardamom helps to elevate mood.
# Fights Free Radicals: Cardamom contains natural anti-oxidants that help to fight the free radicals in the body; restricts the body from degradation.
# Fight Against Cancer Cells: The anti-oxidant property of cardamom protects the body from cancer, resists and helps to kill cancer cells.
# Good Heart Health: Cardamom can reduce cholesterol present in the body which is good for heart health. Also consuming cardamom powder with a spoon of coriander and a cup of freshly squeezed peach juice helps to lower down blood pressure to its normal level.
# Remedy On Vomiting & Nausea: Chewing cardamom reduces the feeling of vomiting and nausea.
# Good For Respiration: Cardamom has the quality to relax and dilate bronchi making more space for oxygen to enter lungs which helps to treat breathlessness. Studies are revealing that cardamom can be used in making medicines for asthma.
# Anti-acidic: Cardamom consumption reduces the acid reflux and soothes the stomach and reduces negative impact.
# Brings Good Sleep: Studies have revealed that a pinch of cardamom mixed with a glass of milk at bedtime helps to get a sound sleep treating sleeping problems like insomnia, anxiety, and restlessness.
# Treats Bad Breath: The aromatic oil in cardamom helps to improve bad breath naturally. The compound named cineole present in the cardamom is an anti-microbial that kills and stops the growth of bacteria in the oral cavity keeping good oral health.
How Did Cardamom Become One Of The Aromatic Spices In The Group?
Cardamom on a large scale in Western hilly regions of India. There is a Sanskrit name for cardamom as ‘Ela’ which later was adopted in botanical studies conferring its scientific the - Elettaria. Cardamom was commercially produced in ancient India; supplying cardamom to Egyptian and European countries.
Ancient Europeans and Egyptians discovered the medicinal properties of cardamom and the cardamom trade flourished and as many spice trade; cardamom trade also got monetary gain. Later in the 16th century, the Portuguese entered in the western coastal region of India and tried to conquer cardamom trade.
But Portuguese cardamom trade did not get demand on a broader range from Europe till the 19th century. Later under East India Company, again cultivation of cardamom started in India commercially on a large scale.
Want To Grow Cardamom? Following Are Some Requirements To Grow Cardamom Tree:
Cardamom grows well in wild loamy soil which is rich in rich in humus. The soil should contain some traces of phosphorus and an abundant source of potassium. Slight Acidic nature of soil makes the tree grow well.
The cardamom tree requires a moderate temperature range and perennial rainfall. The cardamom tree grows well in the hilly region.
The countries in the Indian Subcontinent like India, Nepal, Bhutan, Indonesia, and Shri Lanka cultivate cardamom commercially on a large scale. Some new entrant countries like Malaysia, Tanzania and, Guatemala are also producing cardamom on the commercial level.