I have a customer, originally from India, who turned me on to cardamom tea. I have to say that I have become a bit obsessed about this tea- the warmth and flavor is unique and delicious. Cardamom is related to ginger and the most common and widely used variety is grown in southern India. Cardamom is one of the oldest and most valued spices in the world and is known to be the most expensive spice after saffron and vanilla. It is traditionally used in curries, breads and pastries in addition to being one of the spices used in traditional Masala Chai. Cardamom is thought to counteract the effects of dairy allergies, revitalize the kidneys and aid with respiratory disorders. Cardamom loses its flavor rapidly so it is best to buy the whole pods and grind them yourself as the ground version has probably already lost much of its flavor by the time you get it home.
The following is a recipe for a tasty Cardamom Infusion (this will also help alleviate symptoms of the common cold or flu):
* 1 tsp of good quality dry basil
* Seeds from 1 large cardamom pod
* 1/2 tsp of ground ceylon cinnamon
* 1 tsp honey or raw sugar
* 2 cups water
Mix spices together and place in the strainer basket of your teapot or in a Finium tea filter and infuse in 2 cups of boiling water for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes remove spice mixture and add honey or raw sugar. Enjoy!