cardamom powder

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Ground cardamom is very fine, almost like a powder. It is a common ingredient in Indian cooking. While cardamom is one of the most expensive spices by weight, only a little of its powder is needed to impart its flavour to a dish.

To make cardamom powder, first crack the pods and remove the seeds. Then grind them finely or coarsely. The skins are either discarded or mixed into tea leaves, to give a faint fragrance to the tea. When making slightly larger quantities of crushed cardamom in a spice grinder or mixer, some people like to crush it with the pods in order to ensure a better grind and to prevent the powder from caking.

How to Select
• If making cardamom powder at home, choose the greener cardamoms as they have the best flavour and aroma.
• If buying readymade, choose a tightly-sealed package, and check the use-by date to ensure freshness.
• Avoid old stocks, as ground cardamom tends to lose its flavour and aroma soon.

Culinary Uses
• Cardamom powder is widely used in Indian sweet dishes, ice creams, milk specialities, and hot masala milk.
• It adds flavour and aroma to many rice dishes, vegetables and other richly-flavoured dishes.
• It is used as a traditional flavouring in coffee and tea.

How to Store
• Ground cardamom tends to lose its flavour and aroma soon as it loses its volatile oils.
• Hence, prepare in small quantities and store in an airtight jar in a cool, dry place.
• Also, a small amount of it can be stored in a bottle for daily use and the rest can be kept in a refrigerator.
• It is best used within three months.

Health Benefits
• It stimulates the digestive system and reduces gas.
• Its expectorant action improves circulation to the lungs and thus considered good for asthma and bronchitis.
• Can counteract excess acidity in the stomach.
• Stimulates appetite and cures halitosis (bad breath).
• An infusion made by boiling a couple of pounded cardamoms in a cup of water along with few mint leaves, relieves you from hiccups.

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