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Old 08-14-2010, 08:52 PM   #1
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Black Cardamom

I stopped in my local Indian grocery today to stock up on spices. They always have great values on high quality spices.

I picked up:
1 pound of black peppercorns for 5.99
1 pound of cumin seeds for 4.99

So many choices...so little cabinet space.

I had read about Black Cardamon and was intrigued so I picked up an 11 oz container for $5. When I got it home I cracked the seal and nearly passed out. The odor was so strong I can't imagine deliberately putting this in something I intend to ingest. Smells like burnt vics-vapo-rub.

What the heck do I do with this stuff?

.40
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Old 08-15-2010, 12:58 AM   #2
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Ohh.... I bet that was a surprise. It does smell sort of like camphor and is usually used in savory dishes (mostly meat). I've had it in basmati rice and dal as well.

Check out some of the recipies here: Black cardamom recipes to kick start your planning.
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Old 08-15-2010, 06:18 AM   #3
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That's a great link. Thank you. I think I'll try the Basmati rice recipe...at some point.

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Old 08-15-2010, 06:33 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forty_caliber View Post
...I had read about Black Cardamon and was intrigued so I picked up an 11 oz container for $5. When I got it home I cracked the seal and nearly passed out. The odor was so strong I can't imagine deliberately putting this in something I intend to ingest. Smells like burnt vics-vapo-rub.

What the heck do I do with this stuff?

.40
vicks vaporub...lol...sounds like it worked...it cleared your sinuses for you didn't it? Now you know what to do with it .
Seriously, what is it? Pepper?
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Old 08-15-2010, 06:44 AM   #5
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Black Cardamon is of higher quality than its green cousin, and I have found this spice, when its seeds are extracted, to pervade a recipe. I suggest you go easy on the quantity by halving it.
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Old 08-15-2010, 06:47 AM   #6
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Check out this wikipedia article. The article suggests that in addition to it's use as a spice it is also used to treat malaria.

The container label describes it as:

Native to the Eastern Himalayan regions, Black Cardamon is a large brown pod containing highly aromatic seeds. Unlike green pods, this cardamon is rarely used in sweet dishes. It is a staple spice used in African, Indian, and Middle Eastern cooking. It has a unique smokey flavor and is used in Basmati rice and stew type dishes. Black Cardamom should be used sparingly due to its intense and rich flavor.

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Old 08-15-2010, 06:53 AM   #7
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.40, that Wiki source is very good, but I'm wondering if black cardamom seeds when ground, could be used instead of green when making Chelsea Buns?

I know Basmati smells lovely when about 3-4 black cadamoms are added, for the rice takes on such a lovely perfume.
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Old 08-15-2010, 07:00 AM   #8
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.40, that Wiki source is very good, but I'm wondering if black cardamom seeds when ground, could be used instead of green when making Chelsea Buns?

I know Basmati smells lovely when about 3-4 black cadamoms are added, for the rice takes on such a lovely perfume.
To me this would be a strictly savory spice. Perhaps a little in a anisette biscotti type product?

.40
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Old 08-15-2010, 04:54 PM   #9
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Burnt Vicks huh?? Might be a good tea for a cold?

Another tip about reasonably priced spices.
Since we live in Mexican food country. I buy nearly all of my spices from the grocery stores racks that have tons of different spices in little cellophane packages, intended for Mexican cooking. For example, I was making more sesame noodles the other day, and picked up a 3 oz pack of sesame seeds for 99cents. That's a lot of sesame seeds. On the regular spice rack they were $7.00 !! There are lots and lots of spices there, that I wouldn't
necessarily associate with Mexican cooking, and they are all 99cents a packet. I just use my own containers for them. At 99cents, and a small portion, one doesn't feel terrible throwing out spices past their shelf life.

I assume other parts of the country have ethnic cooking spices at discounted prices in the supermarkets?
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Old 08-15-2010, 07:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forty_caliber View Post
To me this would be a strictly savory spice. Perhaps a little in a anisette biscotti type product?

.40
Elizabeth David's sweet spice mixture for Chelsea buns to be outstandingly good. Her recipe calls for green cardamoms and I share for you.

Sweet spice mixture (grind down to a powder)

1 level teaspoon black peppercorns
1 level teaspoon whole cloves
2 teaspoons coriander seed
half level teaspoon green cardamom seeds (removed from shell)
half a grated fresh nutmeg
half inch of cinnamon stick
One quarter level teaspoon dried ginger



Interesting the addition of black peppercorns, eh? Elizabeth David said pepper helps set the spice flavours. And shes right. Its the perfect balance.
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