Cardamom is used as flavorings and cooking spices in both food and drink and as a medicine. E. cardamomum (green cardamom) is used as a spice, a masticatory, and in medicine; it is also smoked. Cardamom has a complex aroma with a piney, fruity, and almost menthol-like flavor. When used too much, it can be slightly astringent, that is, having the effect of drawing tissue together and restricting blood flow.
Cardamom has a lot of health benefits; it is very helpful for people with high blood pressure due to its antioxidant and diuretic properties. Not only that, it is said to have anti-inflammatory effects in preventing chronic diseases. It is also very helpful with digestive problems, including ulcers, which explains why it is used for medicinal purposes.
Using cardomom as a spice or flavoring agent is safe for most people; however, if used for a prolonged period, it might lead to allergic reactions such as chest pain, respiratory issues, chest tightness, etc. Also, Cardomom spice has harmful interactions with some drugs such as aspirin, anticoagulants, antidepressants, gallstone medicines, etc. All of these make it essential to have a close replacement at hand.
Cardamom Spice Nutrition Facts
What is Cardomom Spice?
Cardamom is a spice made from the seed pods of the cardamom plant, a close relative to ginger and turmeric, that is native to South India. Cardamom has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic, resinous fragrance. Black cardamom has a distinctly more smoky, though not bitter, aroma, with a coolness some consider similar to mint.
According to Laura Debby, a Delish editor, spice is frequently used in sweet and savory dishes in global cuisines from India to the Middle East to Scandinavia. There are two types of cardamom; black and green cardamom. Green cardamom, the culinary cardamom spice, is the variety most commonly used in Indian cooking. It works well in both sweet and savory dishes and can be used whole or ground. Black cardamom has a distinctly more smoky, though not bitter, aroma, with a coolness some consider similar to mint.
Cardamom Spice Uses in Recipes
Cardamom spice pairs well with poultry, red meat, lentils, oranges, rice, and other warm spices, like nutmeg and cinnamon. It is very much ideal in curries, teas, baked goods. The best flavor is gotten by using the pods and grinding the seeds, rather than using ground cardamom, which is not as strong in flavor. Here are some of the recipes it goes well with:
- Ginger garlic Chicken
- Blueberry spice cake
- Honey Chicken
- Mango Lassi
- Brown Sugar Latte
- Braid Bread
- Spiced Rice
- Coconut Chicken Curry
- Fruit Salad
- Pound Cake
- Masala Chai
- Warm Honey Milk
- Spice Rolls with Ginger Glaze
- Red meat
- Cinnamon Rolls
Cardomom Spice Substitutes
When you’re replacing cardomom spice, what you’re most likely trying not to miss is the fruity, warm, cozy, earthy flavor that shines fantastically healthy dishes like roast poultry, blondies, rice pudding, etc. The best substitutes would be spices that have the same flavor and aroma, and luckily, there are so many spices that fall in that category.
Allspice is a spice made from the dried berries of a plant known as Pimentadioica, a member of the myrtle family. This sharp, fragrant spice has hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, making it a suitable substitute for cardamom.
While allspice doesn’t have the complexity of cinnamon spice, it has some of the floral nuance and details of cardomom. If you’re using allspice as a standalone substitute, you can use it in the same quantity as you would a cardomom spice. Still, if you’re using it with cinnamon, for example, it would be half or cinnamon and half quantity of allspice as you would of cardamom.
Nutmeg is known for its warm, nutty flavor, making it the perfect addition to comforting sweet and savory dishes. It is warm and aromatic with a deep flavor which makes it a decent replacement at least. It also has a fresh, rich aroma and a woody, bittersweet flavor with hints of clove.
Just like with allspice, if you’re using it alone, it can be used in the same proportion, although you have to take the bittersweet flavor into consideration. But if you’re using it in addition to cinnamon, it would take equal halves of each to match cardamom spice. That is, one teaspoon cardamom equals half teaspoon cinnamon plus half teaspoon nutmeg.
This is another excellent replacement for cardamon spice. It is also an intensely aromatic spice with a subtly sweet flavor that lends plenty of warmth to any dish. Like the other spices mentioned earlier, it pairs well with other ingredients; it can be used with cinnamon or nutmeg. It can also be used alone or paired with cinnamon for better flavor, in the same proportion as the allspice mentioned earlier and nutmeg.
Cinnamon and Ginger
Cardamom spice is a complex flavor, it is difficult to recreate the exact taste and flavor. If you were to use one teaspoon of cardomom spice, half a teaspoon of ginger and half of cinnamon would be the best proportion. However, a mixture of cinnamon and ginger is the closest you’ll get to getting the exact flavor. They offer a flavorful blend of warm spiciness, woody, and earthy undertones. It makes a wonderful choice for baking.
Cumin is another substitute for cardamom spice. It has a slightly sweet, warming flavour with a nutty element, and these qualities mean it’s often seen as a savoury alternative to cardamom. It is also highly nutritious and has the same taste. If it’s not added to any ingredients, it can be used in the same proportion.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I substitute coriander for cardomom spice?
Yes, but to get a perfect outcome, it should be mixed with other ingredients. An equal mixture of cumin and coriander is the perfect replacement for cardamom in spicy dishes such as curries and meat recipes.
What does cardamom smell like?
Cardamom has a slightly sweet and spicy scent with a subtle woody touch to it.
Which is better, cardamom or cinnamon?
Cardamom spice is more balanced in flavor and it carries a more potent addition to any spice it is added to.
Cardamom is a spice made from the seed pods of various plants in the ginger family. It is popular in Indian dishes and has several health benefits. It also has adverse effects and also negative reactions to some drugs. If you don’t have it or can’t use it for whatever reason, several other alternatives perform the same functions and give similar tastes and flavors.