For every dish, using the right spices and ingredients is important because it impacts the flavor and aroma. One such spice is cardamom and has become an important part of desserts and other dishes. Well, one might think that it’s only available in one form, but we have added information on cardamom pods vs. ground cardamom. So, have a look at the differences!
Cardamom Pods vs Ground Cardamom
Green cardamom pods are perfect for serious home cooks and professional chefs all the same. The cardamom pods are harvested when they are immature and are dried under the sun to ensure the perfect green color is retained. The green cardamom pods are extremely rare and can be pretty expensive. These pods have the underlying ability to retain aroma and flavor.
Usually, the small cardamom pods have a better flavor, which makes them pricier. As for the whole cardamom pods, they are preferred to retain and optimize the flavor. The seeds inside the pod are dark brown in color (can be black in some cases) and tend to have a sticky texture. While looking for the cardamom pods, keep in mind that higher seed stickiness means freshness.
The cardamom pods were initially used by Ancient Greeks, but it has become popular in Scandinavian, Arab, African, Indian, and Asian cuisines. As far as the flavor is concerned, it has a spicy, floral, and mildly sweet flavor with a mild hue of citrus. These pods have sweet as well as savory flavors. For Indian cuisines, the cardamom pods are fried to optimize the flavor.
Once the pods are fried, they are added to meat and veggies. On the other hand, cardamom pods are used for pastries and bread in Europe. As far as Arabs are concerned, they offer cardamom pods with coffee as a welcoming beverage (sometimes, they use cream and cardamom on the coffee).
The cardamom pods have become an integral part of adding a savory flavor and aroma to sauces, pates, soups, rice, puree, stew, seafood, and chicken. On the other hand, you can take out the seeds from the pod and use them in fresh fruit salad, rice pudding, ice cream, or custard to add a sweet flavor. Also, one can crush the cardamom pods and flavor the curries and casseroles.
The cardamom pods offer a very pungent and strong aroma if you use them in combination with fennel, ginger, cloves, and anise.
Ground cardamom has a mildly sweet flavor with a unique taste. This spice comes with citrus and floral hinges and is very famous in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines. The ground cardamom can be used in spicy and sweet dishes to offer high-end flavor and aroma to the dishes. It can also be sprinkled on the top of tea and coffee.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that ground cardamom has a very warming sweet aroma which completes the taste and aroma of beverages and food alike. For Indian cuisines, ground cardamom is used in chai tea, sweet, and milk tea along with curries. As for the Middle Eastern cuisines, it is used to flavor up the coffee.
In Europe, ground cardamom is used in baked goods, such as cookies and bread. Using ground cardamom comes with a wide range of benefits. First of all, it is great for digestive issues, along with nausea and heartburn. The ground cardamom has natural oils that soothe the stomach and works as the detoxifying agent that cleanses the body from toxins and heavy metal traces.
In the Ayurvedic field, ground cardamom is used to cure depression. Given the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in ground cardamom, it promises better health and well-being. The ground cardamom is made by crushing the seeds and pods to make a fine powder. This powder is usually used in garam masala.
When it’s added to garam masala, it creates a fine combination while promising a very strong flavor and aroma. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that it creates a rather hot addition when mixed with other spices. If used as a standalone ingredient, the flavor is somewhat sweet with a pungent aroma.
The Bottom Line
The prime differences in cardamom pods and ground cardamom are their appearance. The pods obviously have a wholesome appearance, while ground cardamom is crushed into a fine powder.