Cardamom (Large) is considered to be the `Queen of Spices’. It is one of the most significant, valuable spices in the world. It consists of the small, highly aromatic pods or seed capsules of a perennial plant of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae) native to India. Seeds. Commonly, the large brown pods are sold as a whole. Black cardamom has a fresh and aromatic aroma. Camphor is easily discernible in its odor. By virtue of the traditional drying procedure over open flames, the spice also acquires a strong smoky flavour. The seeds contain 3% of an essential oil, which is dominated by 1, 8-cineol (more that 70%). Smaller and variable amounts of limonene, terpinene, terpineol, terpinyl acetate and sabinene have also been reported. Cardamom oil is a precious ingredient in food preparations, perfumery, health foods, medicines and beverages. They are available in different colors. The color depends on how they are processed: brown cardamom is oven-dried (most popular elsewhere in Asia and in Europe) Cardamom contains Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium and Manganese.
In Indian people use cardamom to sweeten and clean their breaths after meals. Many chew on it after dinner to help settle their stomach and aids digestion. Cardamom also prevents nausea and vomiting. It soothes colicky babies, induces sweating and cools the body during summer months. Arabs traditionally used cardamom as an aphrodisiac.
It is used in rice preparations and meat dishes, besides a wide range of beverages and sweets.The black variety is felt superior for spicy and rustic dishes, Black cardamom can be used in rather liberal amounts, up to a few capsules per person. The smoky fragrance of the pure spice is not discernible in the finished dish; black cardamom cannot dominate a dish, but enhances and intensifies the taste of other ingredients. The pods should be slightly crushed before usage, but not so much that the seeds are released. It is widely used in flavoring drinks including milk shakes, tea. The spice is also used for aroma and flavoring of a variety of food products including biscuits, ice cream and milk shake powders, cakes, confectionery, candies etc.