Cardamom Spice

Written by Beth Hrusch
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Cardamom spice gives a rich and spicy flavor to Middle Eastern cooking. It is found in a variety of dishes, desserts and beverages. The pods of this spice must be broken open to release their flavor, and usually it is ground and sprinkled onto foods and drinks. Cardamom is an essential element to Arabic cooking.

Cardamom Spice Flavors Many Dishes

Cardamom is a member of the ginger family. Generally, it is used to flavor coffee, yogurt and stews. Its aromatic taste is unique, often likened to ginger or anise with a slightly piney flavor. It gives many Arabic dishes their special exotic flavor. Cardamom is included in traditional Arab favorites such as Turkish coffee, tea and kapsa, a chicken and rice dish. It is used in baharat, an Arabic spice mix used in many recipes.

Cardamom spice must be kept whole as seeds until it is ready to be used, or it will quickly lose its flavor. It is one of the most expensive spices, and therefore is highly prized in many societies. When a host wants to impress his or her guests, a dish made with cardamom expresses this desire to show hospitality.

Cardamom spice can be purchased both ground and whole at Arabic stores. At some markets, it is also called hale. When added to your favorite Middle Eastern dishes, it will lend an aromatic richness and pungency that defines Arabic cooking. Recipes that include cardamom are available on the Internet, as well as information about the properties of this spice.


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