Cardamom is known as the queen of spices. It is native to the evergreen rainforests of southern India and also grown in few tropical countries. Aromatic cardamom acts as a breath freshener.
Apart from being used for flavouring foods, cardamom is used as a digestive tonic and an essential oil in aroma therapy. It has antioxidant, disease-preventing and health-promoting properties.
Cardamom oil has therapeutic properties and is used in many traditional medicines. It is also a good source of minerals such as potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium. Application of cardamom paste to the forehead gives instant relief from headache. Chewing cardamom before going out in the hot summer sun provides protection against heat strokes. Regular use of a mix of cardamom powder and honey gives relief from asthma and whooping cough. It also helps improve the voice and hence, is consumed by vocalists. It helps control high blood pressure.
Now, for a recipe.
Cardamom scented carrot soup
Butter: 2 tbsp
Cooking oil: 1 tbsp
Carrot (peeled and diced): 250 gm
Sweet potato (peeled and diced): 50 gm
Onion (diced): 1
Ground cardamom: half tsp
Cayenne pepper: quarter tsp
Salt to taste
Pepper powder to taste
Water: two-and-a-half cups
Fresh cream: 1 tbsp
Method: Heat a pan over medium heat. Add the cooking oil. Add the onions and sauté till light golden in colour. Then add the carrots and sweet potatoes followed by the cardamom powder and cayenne pepper. Add water and cook till the vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and blend until smooth. Return to the flame, season to taste. Finish with the fresh cream and butter.
Executive Chef, Taj Coromandel