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Old 01-04-2010, 12:05 AM   #1
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Cardamom questions..

I came across some online shops (here in the Netherlands) selling whole cardamom pods, but I don't understand; one sells it for one tenth of the price of the other. Same with fennel seeds. How is it possible that the same product is 1000% more expensive?

Secondly, I want to use cardamom seeds for my rice and lentils (which are staples), is that a good idea?

Thanks in advance..

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Old 01-04-2010, 08:49 AM   #2
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I guess what's considered exotic in one location may be considered staple in another. For example Indian and Middle Eastern's use cardamom in a ton of dishes. To me it's not exotic but in the West they advertise it as an exotic ingredient. Anything exotic can be marketed as a fad and for more money. In short best place to buy fennel and cardamom, Indian stores.

I remember years ago vanilla was cheap, then it went in vogue and became super expensive. I remember getting sick of it's smell because we had so many fresh vanilla beans growing up that we got from friends and family who came from East Africa. That stuff would fetch a fortune now.

Also to answer your question you can use cardamom in sweet or savory dishes and yes you can use it to temper lentils or rice or both. Just follow the golden rule of Indian cooking which is to first heat oil and get it really hot. Next put cardamom pods and any other whole spices (cumin, cinnamon sticks, cloves or whatever else you desire) so the aroma comes out and they splutter and then you can add whatever else.

All the best.
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Old 01-04-2010, 07:13 PM   #3
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Thank you Yakuta. Also, I've just learned that spices are sometimes irradiated, which is unhealthy. Now I have to take this into account as well when choosing where to buy..

All the best.
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:57 PM   #4
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I buy cardamon seeds at my local health food store which sells all spices in bulk. They are next door to the local grocers and it amazes me that anyone would purchase a spice at the grocery store. The health food store is so much cheaper and the product is the same - just not prepackaged.

I often use use cardamon and cumin as seasoning in rice, tossing it in with the steaming water.
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