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Sep 5, 2010 08:11 PM

What's with Cardamom?

Is it my imagination, or is it showing up in everything?

Any general suggestions for how to think about using or buying it?

And where is the search function on this new chowhound format?

Found it.

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  1. I'm not aware that it's "showing up in everything" but it's one of my favorite spices. If it is becoming more popular, it might be because it's one of the spices that works really well in either sweet or savory dishes, and using savory elements in sweet dishes (or traditionally sweet preparations) is very trendy right now.

    As for using it, it works well as either a primary flavor or in a spice blend. It can be bought either pre-ground or in pods that contain little black seeds you can steep whole or crush or grind yourself. I suppose if I were going to "think about using it" then I'd think of it the same way you think of cinnamon. Not that they taste anything like each other, but you can use it ground, steep it in a liquid (like a cinnamon stick) etc. And since now you've prompted me to think about it, I'm thinking that it might be interesting to try substituting it for cinnamon.

    1. It's kind of funny you posted this, because I was searching cardamom today on chow and the internet in general. I plan on buying some to make some chai tea at home, but I wanted to know what else I could use it for.

      5 Replies
      1. re: staub

        You can substitute it for cinnamon and make "cardamom toast." It is often found in Swedish cookies. Green and black cardamom are used in Indian savory foods.

        1. re: PAO

          After I replied above I got out a recipe for cinnamon tea cake that I'm going to try with cardamom instead.

          The LA Times had a recipe for Meyer Lemon cardamom ice cream that sounded good but I thought the finished product the flavors were too mutes (it had a really high-fat base). At the custard stage, though I was incredibly delicious -- I'd definitely make just the custard and use it as a sauce!

          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            Just wanted to report back that I tried the recipe with the cardamom and it's delicious.

            Here's the recipe: I substituted cardamom one-for-one with the cinnamon but otherwise made it exactly as described. BTW, this photo shows a very thin cake, but mine was nice and fluffy -- fluffier than the first time I made it, I think because I really beat the butter/sugar/egg mixture until it was fluffy.

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              yum. i actually love cinnamon and cardamom together, so i'd probably do a 50/50 split, or maybe use just cardamom in the batter and cinnamon for the topping.

        2. re: staub

          I like it in anything that would taste good with ginger or black pepper, since to me cardamom has flavors of both. It's good in plain baked goods when you want to add a little flair easily, like sugar cookies or pound cake. Cardamom ginger is a popular combination as well.

          The easiest use I have is a pinch in the bottom of my french press when I make black coffee.

        3. I am now chewing gum that is flavored with cardamon.

          6 Replies
          1. re: ipsedixit

            I have the same gum, and it's yummy. My students hate it, which means they're not always pestering me to share. Bonus! :)

            1. re: ipsedixit

              What brand, and where do you get it?

              1. re: buttertart


                I get mine at Smart & Final, but Amazon has them ...

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Must get some of that, sounds great. Amazon copywrighter gets a little carried away...
                  "The Eclipse Breeze Gum contains an ingredient called cardamom, which sounds less like an ingredient and more like a dancehall reggae artist."

                  1. re: buttertart

                    "Must get some of that, sounds great. Amazon copywrighter gets a little carried away...
                    "The Eclipse Breeze Gum contains an ingredient called cardamom, which sounds less like an ingredient and more like a dancehall reggae artist."


                    Carried away? Or maybe just food ignorant?

            2. - buying: if possible, buy the whole fresh pods and grind the seeds as you need them.
              - using: sparingly. it's a pretty potent, floral flavor that can easily overwhelm. having said that, when used properly it's one of my favorite spices. chai is pretty standard, it's also terrific in spice cake, gingerbread and the like. and i LOVE it with figs - i add it to my almond-fig muffins. it's a great addition to recipes that call for five-spice powder or any of its elements (pepper, anise, etc), and as already mentioned, cinnamon. it also works well with lime & honey.

              inspiration here:

              and if you Google, there are tons of ways to go.

              1 Reply
              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                i forgot to mention cardamom with pistachios - a classic pairing. try a cardamom-yogurt cake with pistachios, topped with a lime glaze...or chocolate ganache. dee-lish!

              2. Yesterday I had one of the best ice creams ever. Cardamom with chopped pistachios & almonds. It made me wish I had ordered the large instead of the mini.... I know I'll be making it at home!