Natural Black Cardamom - Darjeeling
“Black Cardamom”, From the beautiful mountains of Darjeeling, West Bengal. It is the “Queen of Spice” and is hand harvested. It has smoky aroma and is pungent in taste because it is dried over fire. It is organically grown and the rich climatic conditions of Darjeeling gives cardamom a strong aroma and distinct color and flavor.
Cardamom is basically a seed pod. It grows in pods on an herbaceous plant, belonging to the ginger family. There are 2 types of cardamom-Green Cardamom and Black Cardamom. Green and Cardamom is used for making sweet dishes and Black Cardamom is used for making savory dishes. Cardamom is the third most expensive spice in the world. Black cardamom originated in India and India produces more than 50% of it and is grown in the Himalayas only.
Black Cardamom is also known as “Badi Elaichi” and is an earthy and floral spice. It is tough, dried and has wrinkly skin and is 2-3 times the size of Green Cardamom. It has a strong camphor like flavor and is dark brown or black in color. The traditional method of drying over open flames is used to dry them and hence they have smoky aroma. It has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, antimicrobial and antiseptic properties. It is rich in vitamin C and has numerous health benefits like-boosts immunity, cures headache, aids digestion, prevents cancer, treats respiratory problems, treats gastrointestinal issues, reduces stress and depression, promotes weight loss, maintains blood pressure levels, reduces ulcers, improves oral health, boosts metabolism, cures cough and cold, manages blood sugar levels, lowers cholesterol, reduces the risk of heart diseases, reduces joint pain, treats asthma, improves blood circulation, good for hair and skin etc. It detoxes the body.
Black Cardamom is a popular spice in India and is used for culinary purposes. It is used to make curries, stews, daals, biryani, pulao, casseroles, marinades, rice puddings, cakes, ginger fig chutney, payasam, kebabs, tea and coffee etc. It is also used to make Pan masalas. It is also used to make oils, creams and perfumes and one can get pure cardamom powder by grinding it.
Black Cardamoms are best when added to a recipe and removed before serving. It must always be fried in a little oil as it enhances and intensifies the taste of other ingredients. One can consume upto 500 mg of it. Pregnant and breastfeeding ladies should consult a doctor before using this.