Cardamom

159
20
Joined May 24, 2011
Hi.  I bought a jar of (organically grown) cardamom pods and would like to have the cardamom in the form of a powder, for baking as well as making tea.

It's not clear to me if I should put the entire pods (which contain little seeds) into my little grinder, or if I have to manually open the pods, extract the seeds, and then put the seeds in for grinding. 

Does anyone know?  Grazie.  Mille grazie. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
 
4,763
1,012
Joined Aug 21, 2004
Depends on what I doing. Generally I grind just the seeds. I do it as I use them because their flavor dissipates rapidly after grinding. I find that a mortar and pestle works best for the small amounts of using as I go. For things that are going to be strained (like tea) I grind or mash the entire pod.
 
159
20
Joined May 24, 2011
Many thanx for your info.

The only mortar & pestle I have ever used is a suribachi (Japanese type ridged bowl), but it is too large to be useful with a few  cardamom seeds.

Can you recommend a suitable mortar & pestle? 
 
5,541
978
Joined Oct 10, 2005
I usually buy pods in 50 gr (2 0z) bags.  I buy 5 or 6 at a time, whack them all over with a rolling pin while still in the bag, ensuring tht most of the pods open.  Then I dump everything into  bowl.  Next fill the bowl with water, the seeds will settle to the bottom, the husks float to the top.  Scoop off as many of the husks s you can, and repeat several times.  Dry the seeds in an oven, or if using right away, you can toast them.

The husks offer nothing in terms of flavor.

Hope this helps
 
159
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Joined May 24, 2011
Yes, indeed, Foodpump,  your info was helpful.  For one thing, I did not know that the outer casing had little flavor.  I thought maybe it was an important part of the crushed spice. 

Which brings me to this:  in the big spice packing factories, how can we know if they remove the shells prior to crushing the seeds?  I can't see them going to the trouble you do, and which I myself am willing to take a crack at, also.
 
5,541
978
Joined Oct 10, 2005
Look, there's two ways you can use most spices:

The first is to make an infusion.  You steep the spices in a liquid, and then strain the spices out afterwards.  With this method, it doesn't really matter if the outer husks/shells are there, you're going to strain them out anyway. 

The second is to incorporate finely ground spices into the recipie.  For this, I buy whole spices (whole nutmeg, cloves, cardamon, allspice, etc) and grind them myself.  For this, I use a el-cheapo $10 'lectric coffee grinder specifically for spices.

To answer your question, you can't.  And it is for this reason that I buy spices, cheese, and many other items whole, and shred/pulverise them myself. 
 
159
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Joined May 24, 2011
Ah, a real perfectionist!  That's the way to go. Thanks for all your comments and help./img/vbsmilies/smilies/chef.gif
 
615
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Joined Dec 1, 2015
@foodpump    Thanks for the hull separating tip.  Kind of like using water to separate pomegranate seeds.

I know fresh spices are always superior but in a pinch I have even rescued pre-ground or older spices if the recipe has some step where the spices can be fried in oil briefly, like with aromatics/veggies.  The high temp usually wakes them up for me.

Also, I find cleaning the spice grinder/coffee grinder is easy by grinding up a few chunks of bread.  Seems to get the residue of previous spices out nicely.
 
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4,474
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Joined Jun 27, 2012
Also, I find cleaning the spice grinder/coffee grinder is easy by grinding up a few chunks of bread.  Seems to get the residue of previous spices out nicely.
When I am finished with my grinder for the day I run a bit of raw rice (acts as a "scrubber" on the blades) then the bread (acts like a sponge) before putting away.

Saw this on some blog and it seems to clear away the odors better.

You would think this would dull the blades and it may be wishful thinking but it seems to sharpen instead.

mimi
 

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