decorticated - seeds
whole pods - green pods
ground - seeds
Decorticated cardamom seeds have been separated from the husk and removed from the pod. They are black and brown in color and, when fresh, wildly aromatic. Removal from the pods is something most recipes that use cardamom require, and so purchasing 'decorticated cardamom' allows this step to be saved in cooking. Crushing or grinding the seeds slightly before use will release even more flavor and aroma.
Cardamom is a warm spice with citrus and floral notes; a little will go a long way. Its flavor profile makes it versatile enough to be used in both sweet and savory cooking.
Amp up chutneys, fruity jams, and pickling spice mixes. It is not uncommon in many cultures for cardamom seeds to be used in wines and liqueurs. Whole cardamom seeds work as well with lamb as they do with chicken or pork and add a deep complexity to roasted root vegetables. Cardamom can even be added to traditional meat loaves, potatoes, and whole fish, to provide a strong, warm essence.
PROCESSING / FORM
2.5 oz (71 g) per 1/2 cup
Though green cardamom pods are the most familiar to Americans, cardamom also can be found in black and white varieties. Though the term white cardamom is often (but not always) in reference to a bleached version of the green cardamom pods; black cardamom is a different species Amomum subulatum.
Toasting the seeds in a dry skillet before use imbues a roasted flavor and a subtle smoky/nutty aroma.
In Arab countries an aromatic coffee called gahwa is brewed as a 'welcome drink' for guests and for family gatherings. It is made using green coffee beans and cardamom and is served in distinctive vessels often with chocolate or dates as it is strong and bitter.