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Authentic Thai Recipe Ingredient: Cardamom

Photo of Cardamom and How it is Used in Authentic Thai Recipes.

Cardamom

กระวาน (Krawaan)
Cardamom is recognized by its small seed pods, triangular in cross-section and spindle-shaped, with a thin, papery outer shell and small black seeds. It has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic, resinous fragrance. Black cardamom has a distinctly more smokey, though not bitter, aroma, with a coolness some consider similar to mint.

Green cardamom is one of the most expensive spices by weight, but little is needed to impart flavor. It is best stored in pod form because once the seeds are exposed or ground, they quickly lose their flavor. Grinding the pods and seeds together lowers both the quality and the price. For recipes requiring whole cardamom pods, a generally accepted equivalent is 10 pods equals 1 1⁄2 teaspoons of ground cardamom.

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