If you have ever tasted delicious Indian food or sipped on a warm cup of chai, you have experienced the complex and unique flavor of cardamom. But, what is Cardamom? Cardamom is an aromatic spice used in savory and sweet dishes. The flavor itself is hard to describe; some say it has a sweet taste with hints of mint and pine. The spice hails from India, but it now touches every part of the world in all kinds of dishes and drinks. In fact, cardamom is used in many holiday dishes as a warming spice, and it tastes great in drinks like apple cider and pumpkin spice lattes.
To use cardamom, you can buy it ground from your local supermarket, or you can buy whole cardamom pods. To use the cardamom pods, you have to smash and crack the pods open in order to get to the inner cardamom seeds. Once you expose the seeds, remove them from the pod and crush them with a mortar and pestle. With your fresh ground cardamom, you can add it to Indian-style dishes like curry and tikka masala, or steep it with black tea to make your own chai latte at home.
As well as being pleasing to the pallet, cardamom provides many benefits for us to enjoy. The spice is packed with antioxidants, which may help the body fight off free radicals and decrease one’s blood pressure, according to Healthline, an online health resource. It has also been used since ancient times to treat bad breath and improve oral health by fighting mouth bacteria!
If you are in the mood to try some cardamom at home, make this delicious homemade Chai Tea Latte to sip on all season long!
Chai Tea Latte for Two
- 3 teabags of black tea (or loose black tea)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 6 cloves
- 4 cardamom pods
- 2 cups of water
- Sweetener of choice
- 1 1⁄2 cups milk of choice
- Optional: fresh ginger
In a small saucepan, lightly toast your cinnamon stick, cloves and cardamom pods on medium heat until the spices become aromatic. Stir the spices occasionally to make sure they do not burn.
Next, add 2 cups of water to the saucepan, add your teabags/loose leaf tea and brew your tea how you like it. Use more or less tea depending on how strong you like your tea. If you would like, you can steep a small piece of fresh ginger with your tea if you have it. Ginger is another common spice used in India.
When your tea is done steeping, sweeten it according to your taste with your favorite sweetener. We recommend using honey or agave.
Next, strain the tea mixture through a fine- mesh strainer to remove any spices or tea leaves. Return the mixture back to the saucepan if you need to reheat it.
To serve, prepare your milk by warming it and frothing it. Pour the warm tea into two mugs, and then pour the frothed milk on top, stirring to combine. Sprinkle with cinnamon, and enjoy!