Let me take you today to the trip of Southern most tip of India,to a place called ‘Munnar’ in a state of Kerala.Though i have never been to ‘Munnar’ personally,i did spend two months in this picturesque state of Kerala.Absolutely GORGEOUS from cloud hugging hills to green valley.Coconut trees and backwater and the evening walk,oh the imagery is so vivid that i am taking a trip as i talk.
If you ever go to India,you must go to Kerala.B.E.U.T.I.F.U.L My aunt visited the spice capital and tea valley of India a month ago and sent me the pictures.I am still soaking it in.I was absolutely mesmerized looking at the pictures of spices in their natural habitat.I understand what could have drawn explorers like Vasco da Gama to India.It is no wonder Columbus was after Indian Spices,even though he ended in a new world.
If you ask me one of my most favorite spice.I would say ,Cardamom.Sweet and mellow aroma cardamom adds to ‘kheer‘ or ‘Biriyani’ or ‘Swedish meatballs‘ is unmistakable.To those who haven’t used it before,i would say,for dessert,it is equivalent to vanilla.Just like you will not forget Vanilla,when you are baking a cake or donuts,i will not forget cardamom if i am making ‘Kheer’ or Biriyani.
Word about the Cardamom Type and Usage
There are two varieties of Indian Cardamom in use.Green and Black.Green Cardamoms like the one i am talking about here,can be used in dessert as well as in savory dishes however black cardamom is very limited in its usage.Black cardamoms are very potent and pungent and are used scantly in savory dishes only.Difference is so stark that Indian refer black cardamom as ‘black’ cardamom but ‘green’ cardamoms are referred just as cardamoms.
Now if you ask me,what shocked me when i look at the pictures of Cardamom.I would have NEVER thought in a million years that cardamom grow at the feet of the plant,above the ground and black peppers are climbers,topic of another post.My aunt got to talk the ladies and and watch the harvest,drying process at the place it grows.This is what she found out and shared with me and with you now 🙂
- Cardamom Plants are grown AMONG other plantations like silver Oak in this picture.
- Cardamom grows at the bottom of the plant.Are you surprised ?I am dazed.
- You can get 3-5 harvest of cardamoms from one plant throughout the year.Impressive.
- Fresh ones are great to taste,not bitter like dried ones.It is harvested at very ‘green’ and ‘shiny’ stage.
- There is specific drying period to get the cardamom you pay ooddles of money for at store.So worth it.
- Though,cardamom grows in hill and valleys,by highways and trails of Kerala every where.Don’t you think that would be one aromatic journey?Most home garden there has at least one cardamom plant in their backyard.Oh i LOVE that idea.Wait,hold that thought..I am a plant killer.Ugh.
So now that you know about Cardamoms,go ahead and use it.You will be glad that you did 🙂