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Cardamom Seeds


Suvir Saran
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Pardon me for stepping in, but I have some novice questons:

How long can cardamon seeds be stored in a jar before they become stale/tasteless/bad?

Reason I ask is I am down to a few last ones I got in India because so many recipes call for them. I only bought a handful, but now regret it. I am wondering what quantity I should buy them? Do they last years or just a few months?

And, does greener mean fresher? I always thought that the dull/faded ones must be old and lack flavor so I have tended to buy the greener ones.

Finally, some pods open easily with a quick whack, and some don't want to open no matter how hard I pry. Is this a any indication of good/bad flavor, old/fresh?

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Here is my cardamom question for the day:

Am I supposed to hull them first? Or use the whole pod?

I've been hulling the little $#%$#$^&ers then toasting and grinding. Gimme some pointers on perfect cardamom preparation, pretty please!

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Here is my cardamom question for the day:

Am I supposed to hull them first? Or use the whole pod?

Yes. That is, it depends on the recipe. The whole pods are often used.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Here is my cardamom question for the day:

Am I supposed to hull them first? Or use the whole pod?

I've been hulling the little $#%$#$^&ers then toasting and grinding. Gimme some pointers on perfect cardamom preparation, pretty please!

It does depend on the recipe. Some call for dropping the whole pod into hot oil, others for simmering the the pod in liquid. Sometimes they are dry-toasted and then hulled and ground or hulled and then toasted. They can be hulled and ground without any toasting or ground as they are, hull and all.

In some dishes I use the whole pod ground, especially chicken dishes with light sauces based on nuts and/or cream. When the whole pod is ground you get a nice balance between the intense lemony-camphor quality of the seeds and the herbal fragrance of the pods.

Edward Hamann

Cooking Teacher

Indian Cooking

edhamann@hotmail.com

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Pardon me for stepping in, but I have some novice questons:

How long can cardamon seeds be stored in a jar before they become stale/tasteless/bad?

Reason I ask is I am down to a few last ones I got in India because so many recipes call for them. I only bought a handful, but now regret it. I am wondering what quantity I should buy them? Do they last years or just a few months?

And, does greener mean fresher? I always thought that the dull/faded ones must be old and lack flavor so I have tended to buy the greener ones.

Finally, some pods open easily with a quick whack, and some don't want to open no matter how hard I pry. Is this a any indication of good/bad flavor, old/fresh?

The pods and seeds. unground should lasst 6 months to a year, if kept sealed in the dark. They will fade considerably after just a few months though.

I find that the firmest bright green pods are usually the best. If the pod is plump and firm that usually means that it is full of good black seeds.

I toss the lame ones with hardly any seeds into a container with loose black tea. That way I don't waste them and they will feel thay have a use in this world.

Edward Hamann

Cooking Teacher

Indian Cooking

edhamann@hotmail.com

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Pardon me for stepping in, but I have some novice questons:

How long can cardamon seeds be stored in a jar before they become stale/tasteless/bad?

Reason I ask is I am down to a few last ones I got in India because so many recipes call for them. I only bought a handful, but now regret it.  I am wondering what quantity I should buy them? Do they last years or just a few months?

And, does greener mean fresher? I always thought that the dull/faded ones must be old and lack flavor so I have tended to buy the greener ones.

Finally, some pods open easily with a quick whack, and some don't want to open no matter how hard I pry. Is this a any indication of good/bad flavor, old/fresh?

The pods and seeds. unground should lasst 6 months to a year, if kept sealed in the dark. They will fade considerably after just a few months though.

I find that the firmest bright green pods are usually the best. If the pod is plump and firm that usually means that it is full of good black seeds.

I toss the lame ones with hardly any seeds into a container with loose black tea. That way I don't waste them and they will feel thay have a use in this world.

agreed

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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I've been buying the green ones; a one-pound bag about every 3-4 months. Freshness, therefore, is not really an issue! I use them a lot for baking, in tea, and also just to chew as a breath freshener. I'm also planning to incorporate their flavour into a few of my desserts in caramel form: infuse the seeds into the water I make the caramel with. I think that would go wonderfully with a few of the pastries I'm going to introduce at work over the next few weeks.

Until recently I'd not been aware of the green/sweet black/savoury tradition. Next time I get down to the Punjabi store I'll have to get some of the black ones and experiment a little.

“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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I use them whole if it's a long cooked dish where the flavor will permeate everything. Otherwise I pound the pods a little to open them up, then remove the seeds and grind those as needed - the flavor of fresh ground cardamom is heady, wonderful stuff.

Kathy

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne

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variable use but i don't grind black cardamom whole.the most surprising recipe with cardamon in a starring role is the 'elaichi gosht' from camellia panjabi's 50 great curries;35 pods of green cardamom ground whole in spicing 1kg of mutton/lamb-very good particularly in cold or damp weather!

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I have always used white pods for cooking, sweet as well as savory. The more I read about the black pods, the more intrigued I am. I wonder, though: I read somewhere (in Madhur Jaffrey, I believe) that one can grind the black pods without "seeding" them. In other words, take the pods called for and grind the entire pods, outer shell with inner seeds. Is this correct? Or, more to the point, is this what people do?

Thanks!

"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le goût de ce qu'elles sont."

Curnonsky (Maurice Edmond Sailland)

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I have always used white pods for cooking, sweet as well as savory.  The more I read about the black pods, the more intrigued I am.  I wonder, though:  I read somewhere (in Madhur Jaffrey, I believe) that one can grind the black pods without "seeding" them.  In other words, take the pods called for and grind the entire pods, outer shell with inner seeds.  Is this correct?  Or, more to the point, is this what people do?

Thanks!

The brownish black seeds of cardamom are enclosed inside 1/4”-3/4” long oval shaped pods. The larger variety known as black cardamom is really brown in color, and the smaller variety is called green cardamom. Green pods have excellent fragrance compared to white bleached ones. Cardamom seeds are often crushed coarsely or powdered fine before using. If you want only the seeds crushed and not pods, but don't want to peel individual pods, it is better to use a mortar and pestle rather than a grinder or blender. It will be easy to remove the pods. A grinder or blender would pulverize the pods.

Ammini

Edited by Peppertrail (log)

Ammini Ramachandran

www.Peppertrail.com

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Thanks for the information! I don't mean to be obtuse, but am I correct in understanding you to say that, yes, one can crush the entire black cardamom, pod and seeds together? I would have thought the pod itself too fibrous, but it appears I may be wrong. (Yes, I realize that sometimes recipes will call specifically for seeds, but sometimes the recipe simply doesn't specify.)

"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le goût de ce qu'elles sont."

Curnonsky (Maurice Edmond Sailland)

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am I correct in understanding you to say that, yes, one can crush the entire black cardamom, pod and seeds together?  I would have thought the pod itself too fibrous, but it appears I may be wrong.  (Yes, I realize that sometimes recipes will call specifically for seeds, but sometimes the recipe simply doesn't specify.)

Gypsy Boy:

I use green cardamom, and I crush it using a mortar and pestle. Most south Indian recipes that I prepare use only the seeds, not the pods. Even then I first crush the whole pods in a mortar, remove the skins, and powder or coarsely grind the seeds. As you said the pod itself is fibrous. The fragrance of cardamom is essentially in the seeds not in pods.

Ammini

Ammini Ramachandran

www.Peppertrail.com

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As you said the pod itself is fibrous. The fragrance of cardamom is essentially in the seeds not in pods.

A number of posts above, Edward offered the following comment:

"When the whole pod is ground you get a nice balance between the intense lemony-camphor quality of the seeds and the herbal fragrance of the pods." He did not specify whether he was writing about the green, white, black--or all the varieties. Hence my original question: can/should one grind black pods whole if the recipe does not specify.

"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le goût de ce qu'elles sont."

Curnonsky (Maurice Edmond Sailland)

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I use both types of cardamom whole in pulaos, curries etc. The only time I use powdered brown cardamom is when I include them in my garam masala. I haven't much use for the empty pods of the green cardamom, nor do I have the patience to peel them , so I grind the whole cardamom to a powder and then remove the husk by sifting it. Although I must give your method a try Ammini, when it's time to replenish my powdered cardamom stock.

Suman

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my original question:  can/should one grind black pods whole if the recipe does not specify.

I think it should be fine to grind whole pods if a recipe does not specify. After all the amount of cardamom used compared to the amount of other ingredients used in a recipe is minimal. I hope this helps Gypsy Boy.

Ammini

Ammini Ramachandran

www.Peppertrail.com

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