Whether it is a sweet or savoury dish, if you want it to go that extra mile in terms of taste, add a dash of cardamom or elaichi to it and you can never go wrong! Let us learn more about this Indian spice and discover it like never before?
What Is Black Cardamom (Badi Elaichi)?
Scientifically referred to as Amomum subulatum, Badi Elaichi or Black Cardamom is a herbaceous plant that belongs to the Ginger family. Usually found in mountainous regions such as Southern China and the Indian Himalayas, they are tough, wrinkly, dried and come in pods that have dark-coloured seeds inside them. Amomum subulatum is used in Indian cooking in the form of a spice.
Black Cardamom Nutritional Value
Here is the nutrition profile of per 100 grams of Black Cardamom:
- 311 Calories
- 0.7 grams of Saturated fat
- 6.7 grams of Total fat
- 0 grams of Trans fat
- 0 grams of Cholesterol
- 11 grams of Protein
- 68 grams of Total Carbohydrates
- 28 grams of Dietary fiber
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Black Cardamom Benefits
Black cardamom holds an important place in Indian cuisine. Its rich flavors and aromatic essence elevates the dish, and it forms a core ingredient in many signature recipes. Also known as moti elaichi, it offers several benefits as an ingredient in cooking and for a skin and hair care regime.
Lowers blood pressure
Black cardamom has antioxidants and diuretic properties that help in lowering blood pressure. It normalises high blood pressure. Hence, researchers suggest including at least 3 grams daily to reap black cardamom benefits.
If a person has respiratory issues like congestion, asthma, or other related ones, cardamom is a better option to go for. Its antioxidant properties help in controlling mucous release during a cold or cough. It helps heal a sore throat and clears the respiratory tract.
Normalises scalp infection
Moti elaichi has antibacterial and antiseptic properties, which help in treating scalp infection. This simple home-based ingredient is far more effective than chemical-based shampoos.
Good for skin
Its antioxidant properties and high Vitamin C content improve blood circulation and protect the skin from toxic substances. These toxic materials get accumulated over the skin in the form of dust. The pollutants then penetrate the skin. A tablespoon of black cardamom paste along with turmeric powder and honey can revitalise your skin.
Benefits of Black Cardamom on Hair
Whether you include black cardamom in your diet or use it as an oil, it provides better nourishment to the hair. Apply the oil from the scalp to the hair strands and massage it for 10-15 minutes. Its regular use ensures thick, strong and shinier hair strands.
Its high antioxidant properties also heal scalp irritation and itchiness, which are issues that can lead to further infections. Use the oil regularly for better results.
Black Cardamom Benefits For Males
Cardamom works wonders in terms of male sexual health. It is a known aphrodisiac- in other words, an ingredient that enhances sexual drive, desire and libido among men.
Did you know? That cardamom can also serve as a natural alternative to medicinal Viagra? Eating Cardamom and incorporating it into your meals or using cardamom-based oil and massaging it onto your genitals helps blood circulation in your private area, facilitating stronger erections.
This is not all. When used correctly, this humble spice also manages problems related to the male digestive tract, heart disorders, diabetes and asthma!
Black Cardamom Uses
Often regarded as the ‘queen of spices’, black cardamom or large cardamom is among those aromatic ingredients that provide various benefits to skin, hair and overall health.
- Chew a single cardamom seed if you observe a mouth odour or have bleeding gums. Its antibacterial property is released in a spice oil form when chewed, relieving painful gums and cavities.
- When figuring out ‘what is black cardamom’, we often confuse it with garam masala. While it’s often a part of the spice mix, its flavour is unique. Using the crushed form of large or black cardamoms lifts the taste of dishes.
- Chefs use seed pods of moti elaichi directly in soups or chowder for an extra smoky flavour.
- South Indian dishes have a better taste infused by adding large cardamoms in ginger-fig chutney, rice pudding, payasam, and many more.
Black Cardamom Side Effects
A correct dose of anything is beneficial for health. However, overdose or underdose may have some side effects, leading to major problems in the future. Although there are no reported black cardamom side effects, its high use may cause ulcers and lead to pain while urinating.
Limit the daily dose to 3-4 grams, and badi elaichi would pose no harm to your health.
What Are The Different Types Of Black Cardamom?
There are two species of black cardamom:
- Amomum subulatum: This is the species of black cardamom that is used in Indian cuisine.
- Amomum tsao-ko: This is the species of black cardamom that is used in Chinese cuisine.
Black Cardamom Vs Green Cardamom
Apart from black cardamom, there is also a green cardamom that belongs to the Elettaria cardamomum plant. Green cardamom is picked very early, before the plant matures, as opposed to black cardamom that is picked much later, and dried over a fire.
Moreover, black cardamom should never be mixed with green cardamom in case you're following a cooking recipe as they have exceedingly varying taste profiles.
What Does Black Cardamom Taste Like?
To understand what black cardamom tastes like, we must understand its preparation process. It is dried over an open fire. This is why it has smoky notes, flavours of camphor and resin along with a slightly minty kick. Did you know? Black cardamom also belongs to the 'warning spice' category as is in the esteemed company of cloves, black pepper and chillies.
How To Grow Black Cardamom?
The Cardamom plant must always be partially shaded. A moist ground is yet another prerequisite. Dry soil or soil that dries out by itself is not suitable for this plant. Hence, water it regularly if you do not live in a region with plentiful rainfall.
If you are growing Cardamom in a container, make sure you bring the plant indoors if the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The rhizomes of the Cardamom plant may live on for about 10-15 years and flowers may bloom after about 3 years.
For black cardamom growth to reach its full potential, make sure the plant is watered very well, that it doesn't receive an overdose of sun, and the environment around is not too chilly.
Where To Buy Black Cardamom?
Whenever you are about to purchase black cardamom, make sure you buy the entire pods even though ground cardamom will be more easily available. Why is this? The seed of this spice begins to lose its aroma and potency once the skin is detached from it.
However, whole pods are less expensive that ground cardamom, are about an inch in length and are firm, plump and dry. Once you buy them, make sure to store them in a tightly sealed container, away from heat and direct sunlight.
Black Cardamom (Badi Elaichi) Price
The ‘queen of spice’, though light in weight, can be pretty expensive compared to other spices. Black cardamom price per kg is approximately INR 2500.
Cooking with Black Cardamom
Those relatively new to varied cuisines often confuse the difference between black cardamom and green cardamom. Both have different appearances, benefits, and aromatic flavours. Most commonly, Indians use ‘kali elaichi’ or black cardamom as an ingredient in garam masala, a popular spice mix in Indian curries.
The popular dish of biryani tastes bland without the use of kali elaichi. When used in cooking, it is slightly roasted and crushed to release its flavour. The spice’s potency depends on the quality of badi elaichi that you use.
Good-quality cardamom is a whole and stiff pod, firm enough to hold many seeds. When used in curries, it imparts smokiness to the dish. As it imbibes well with gravies, it is a core ingredient in Pindi chole or a basic Malvani gravy.
Recipes You Can Try by Using Black Cardamom (Kali Elaichi)
Black cardamom is a common ingredient used in Indian dishes. The rich black cardamom nutritional value and aromatic flavour make it a popular ingredient in rice dishes, like fried rice, basic pulao, biryani, etc., and marinades in tikka.
The smoky aroma of Achari pulao comes with a marvelous kick of badi elaichi, giving a mouth-watering feel, especially while it’s cooking. You can also saute it with veggies in soup or boiled vegetables to give a special taste to your food and a healthy toast!
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Summing Up Black Cardamom & Badi Elaichi For You!
Black cardamom is an Indian spice with fiery notes and flavours of camphor and resin. Consuming black cardamom benefits sexual health among males, enhances skin quality, lowers blood pressure, normalises scalp infections, makes for shiny. thick hair, and provides respiratory relief. Make sure you purchase whole pods of black cardamom rather than seeds or a grounded form. Please consult your doctor before consumption.
What Is Black Cardamom Good for?
Black cardamom effectively lowers blood pressure and manages respiratory tract issues. Moreover, its antibacterial properties are excellent to solve scalp infection concerns. Due to its high Vitamin C content, black cardamom is also great for your skin, improving its blood circulation. In addition, this spice can also be used in the form of oil, making for shinier, thicker and denser hair.
Black cardamom not only manages digestion imbalances among men but also acts as a natural aphrodisiac, elevating male sexual drive, desire or libido.
Is Black Cardamom Better Than Green?
Green cardamom lacks the signature smokiness of black cardamom as it is picked before the plant matures and not dried on an open fire like black cardamom is. Green cardamom leaves a subtle taste in the mouth as compared to its black counterpart that packs a punch. One cannot say which is better, but black cardamom sure tastes brilliant when added to a recipe and removed just before serving it.
What Happens if We Eat Black Cardamom Daily?
If you consume black cardamom daily, you will have better overall health! Moreover, this spice presents itself like a shield that protects us from heatstrokes during scorching summers, improves breathing and aids weight loss.
Is Cardamom Bad for Kidneys?
An RNT Medical College Study showed that black cardamom increased the antioxidant status of the body by 90%! This is extremely beneficial for kidney health. Moreover, this spice also lowers blood pressure, vital for kidney health.
Is Cardamom Bad for Your Heart?
Absolutely not! Cardamom is excellent for heart health maintenance. It reduces the possibility of your blood clotting and also helps lower blood pressure which is essential for heart systems to continue functioning smoothly.