Green cardamom, with its exquisite fragrance, is a highly-prized, wonderfully versatile spice. Green cardamom is the fruit of Eletteria cardamomum, a plant indigenous to southern India. The dried, pale green pods have a distinctive perfume, with the presence of cineole contributing eucalyptus-like notes.
In Indian cookery, green cardamom is used to flavour both savoury and sweet dishes, from biriyanis to burfi (a fudge-like Indian sweet). Use green cardamom pods either whole, cracked slightly to release their aroma, or, for a more powerful cardamom flavour, split open and extract the small black seeds inside, using these either whole or ground.
In Scandinavia, green cardamom is a popular spice in baking. Use green cardamoms in curries and rice dishes or to flavour chai (spiced Indian tea). Green cardamom is excellent in desserts – combine it with fresh fruit, from pears to pineapple, or chocolate.
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