THE SPICE: CAR­DAMOM

Home & Decor (Malaysia) - - Spice of Life With Sapna Anand -

“There was a time when this aro­matic green pod was traded along with gold, sil­ver, and pre­cious stones.” Sapna says, of the ‘Queen of Spices’. Favoured since an­cient times, car­damom has had its many uses through­out the em­pires of his­tory. An­cient Egyp­tians chewed the seeds to clean their teeth, whilst the Greeks and Ro­mans used it as an aro­matic per­fume. “It isn’t only used in In­dian cook­ing and desserts. The Arabs also used it for most desserts, and in­fused tea with it.” Sapna adds.

The spice it­self is fairly unas­sum­ing to look at. The best pods are bright green, rather than white and dry. Crushed, the skins of the pods re­veal the small black seeds within, which is where the flavour truly lies. As a spice, car­damom is dis­tinct in its way, warm, pun­gent, and deeply aro­matic. If golden, sun-burnt sand had an aroma, it’d smell like the spice.

“A pinch of car­damom pow­der el­e­vates a sim­ple dish, and gives it an aro­matic flavour.” Sapna says. “It’s an ex­cel­lent kitchen rem­edy for beat­ing bad breath nat­u­rally, and it can also re­lieve headaches.” Like so many of its spice cousins, car­damom is also pos­ses­sive of heal­ing prop­er­ties, and is fre­quently used in the prac­tice of natur­opa­thy. Used through­out the ages for gas­troin­testi­nal pro­tec­tion and weight-man­age­ment, car­damom is also be­lieved to con­trol choles­terol and pro­vide re­lief from car­dio­vas­cu­lar prob­lems. “Its nat­u­ral oils are known to have heal­ing and anti-ox­i­dant prop­er­ties,” Sapna says.

Sapna rec­om­mends stor­ing your sup­ply of car­damom in the chiller, or in a cool, dry place away from the sun.

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