This cardamom recipe appeals to me more than what seems normal! Maybe it’s the mad alliteration. Perhaps it’s because cardamom is a traditional medicine and I like that. We even have a new homeopathic remedy made from it. But really who cares, it tastes great.
There are between 8 and 16 seeds in each cardamom pod. You have to cut it or bash it with a rolling pin to split open the pod to get at the seeds. Then if you are wanting to use the seeds for a recipe, it’s good to know that they will pretty quickly lose their flavour when ground and exposed to air. So it really is best to buy whole pods and grind them as needed. Then they are fresh and fantastic. I soon discovered a little bit goes a long way simply because I used it too generously. If you can’t buy pods then buy seeds and grind them. However, buying the pre-ground powder is near to pointless.
Also don’t just chuck out the pods. Keep them until you are making some kind of curry-ish Indian flavoured dinner. You can toss the pods into the cooking liquids to get a stronger cardamom flavor, then fish them out at the end just like you do with bay leaves. Though I did have a lovely patient recently who informed me that she chews the pods along with her dinner and that I wasn’t truely obsessed with cardamom if I didn’t.
Cardamom Coconut Custard Recipe
400mls coconut milk
4 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 tablespoons coconut oil
Seeds from 10 cardamom pods = a teaspoon ground cardamom
- Remove the seeds from the cardamom pods and then grind them. Set aside.
- Bring the coconut milk and honey to the boil. Once it’s boiling turn the heat to low.
- In a bowl mix together arrowroot powder and eggs till they are well combined.
- Take one cup of the coconut milk and honey mixture and pour it into the arrowroot and eggs mixture. Whisk constantly to avoid clumping.
- Slowly add this to the rest of the coconut milk stirring constantly and keep the heat low. Then remove from the heat when it is thickened up.
- Add the vanilla, cardamom and coconut oil. Stir. Set aside while making the choc chia.
Choc Chia Recipe
1 cup coconut milk
¼ cup chia seeds
3 tablespoons cacao powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 tablespoons honey
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
- Then layer this choc chia mixture on the bottom of your individual cups, glasses or large bowl.
- Let it sit for a while to make sure it has thickened up.
- Pour the coconut custard on the top.
- Decorate with glazed slices of orange, grated dark chocolate, cherries or whatever you like. Heaven on a stick.
10 reasons to be obsessed with cardamom & some health benefits
- It’s been used in medicine and cooking for such a long time. For instance, the first references about cardamom have been found in the ancient Ayurvedic literature of India. Also the ancient Greeks and Romans used it in foods, medicines, and perfumes. Similarly, the Vikings added it to festival cakes and thanks to their 11th century wanderings, it often appears in Scandinavian breads, cookies, and other baked goods.
- Cardamom is the world’s third-most expensive spice, surpassed in price per weight only by vanilla and saffron.
- It has quite a strong, kind of ‘spicy-citrusy-sweet’ flavour. If you know what Biryani (Indian flavoured savoury rice) tastes like then you are familiar with it already.
- The beautiful orchid-like flowers appear for about eight months of the year, on a tall perennial plant which belongs to the Zingiberaceae (ginger & turmeric) family of plants.
- It is a native to the forests of the Western Ghats of Southwestern India. Following on after the flower, each pod, or capsule, ripens slowly, and must be plucked when it is three-quarters ripe. You can imagine that growing cardamom is really labor intensive.
- Depending on where it is grown it has different coloured pods. The smaller variety is green and called true cardamom. The larger, is coloured black or red.
- According to Dr Mercola: Nutritionally, no other vitamin or mineral ingredient in cardamom comes close to the manganese content, which is 80 percent of the recommended value in a single tablespoon. You’ll also find smaller amounts of fiber and iron, as well as plenty of vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, potassium, pyridoxine, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamin A, and zinc.
- Like ginger, cardamom is talked about to help with digestion, nausea and motion sickness. Ginger juice mixed with cardamom, honey, and dash of lime is said to do wonders for nausea. I have never tried this. Please let me know how it goes if you do try it.
- In the Middle East they’ve been adding spices to make awesome coffee forever, be it cardamom, cinnamon or nutmeg. Yes! Cardamom and cream in your coffee.
- Adding a few drops of cardamom seed oil in water and using it as a mouthwash can aid in disinfecting the oral cavity, killing germs and eliminating bad breath.
The homeopathic remedy called Eletarria is made from cardamom
Seriously the most exciting thing I have to tell you about cardamom is that recently it was turned into a homeopathic medicine which is called Eletarria cardamomum. The research was done by Colin Griffiths and published in 2011 in his book called The New Materia Medica: New Key Remedies for the Future of Homeopathy Volume 2.
Colin says the indications for using the remedy are:
- Lack of care for yourself during times when you have become unsettled by emotions and stress
- Problems from not eating well when under stress
- Tending to feel warm after eating food
- Mental dullness and lack of morale with frustration at the loss of brain power
- Rushing around without much effectiveness and ending up ‘burnt out’
- Poor digestion and poor elimination resulting in toxicity
- Mental activity is dulled; poor memory
- Hormonal imbalance where the remedy Sepia seemed indicated but has failed to help
- A feeling of disconnection as a result of combined enervation, stress and lack of care for yourself
Eletarria can be used as a constitutional remedy in high potency or as a support remedy in those whose energy is undermined by a physical condition such as irritable bowel syndrome. If used in a low ‘x’ potency it becomes a wonderful detox, drainage remedy for the liver. At the Harbord Homeopathic Clinic, I have used Eletarria in an x potency to generally support the liver and intestines in the same way that Chelidoneum is used when we want to support the liver and gall bladder.
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