Monday, 6 April 2015

The Spice Rack: Green Cardamom


The past few weeks have been difficult for us. The same day that we lost my late mother's brother MC, the Techie, who had been having fever for a couple of days, suddenly sprouted Chicken pox rashes. Once their survival in the midst of hostile medicines had become dubious, the poxes gracefully marched on to my terrain. Our attending physician (who also happens to be a retired Colonel) told us in a lighter vein ‘this is the price you pay for not getting it as children’. True that!

All is fairly well now, though it will probably take another couple of weeks for us to be back on what can be deemed a normal routine.

Well, all except the fact that we couldn't attend MC's funeral and that we will miss seeing my sister and brother in law who have popped down for a vacation from London.

I don't like how this year is turning out at all.

Sigh.

But one has to move on. Come whatever, I mostly keep a stiff upper lip and leave the rest to God Almighty. An unemotional and detached front or a pretence of such is my refuge, when life takes bitter turns.
And in keeping up with that deceptively nonchalant demeanour, we will switch the conversation to Cardamoms.

One of the most expensive among spices, Green Cardamom, with its distinctively strong, yet captivating taste and aroma is a favourite spice of mine. The spindle shaped spice is used widely in sweet as well as savoury dishes in India, not to forget as flavouring in drinks including teas and lassis (yoghurt smoothies).
Although only the dark seeds enclosed within the papery outer layer of cardamom pods are usually used in making cardamom powder, for most other uses including the making of spice powders like this Meat Masala Powder, the whole pod is used.

I don't know if all of you are aware of this - the pods of cardamom grow near the base of the plant and offer a slightly unusual sight.

Notes:
  1. This is the third in line of the spice series, which is primarily meant to be a series of photo posts. You will find these posts lacking in any prolonged discussions on the spices themselves and I apologize for the lack of a solid write up, if you were expecting it. If circumstances permit, another photo series on how these spices are grown at my native place might be done at a later time.
  2. That there is a 'Black' Cardamom as well has been a revelation to me a few years back; a note or two on that in another post.

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