Did you know a lot of chronological Indian content mention Cardamom as a flavoring agent and medicine? There are recipes of sherbets and rice dishes flavored with Cardamom. Cardamom became an object of trade with South Asia in the last thousand years when Arab traders brought it into extensive use. Exports from the Malabar shore, close to where Cardamom’s grew untamed, were portrayed by the Portuguese traveler, Barbosa, in 1524. By the time of Garcia DA Orta in 1563, the worldwide trade in Cardamom’s was finely urbanized. Kerala continued to dominate the cardamom trade until the colonial era.
It was bought by the Raja’s administrators from India, and some of it was sold to Muslim merchants while the most excellent quality was sold abroad. In the 19th century British settlement established Cardamom as a secondary crop in coffee agricultural in further parts of India. But it’s Guatemala, which only started growing the spice in the 1920s, that’s the biggest commercial producer today, overtaking India and Sri Lanka. In some parts of Guatemala, it has even overtaken coffee as its most valuable crop!
Cardamom is largely used in South Asia and South America it has been known to help teeth and gums issues, to help control and take care of throat troubles, congestion of the lungs, inflammation of eyelids and also digestive disorders. It is also used to break up kidney stones and gall stones, and was apparently used as an antidote for venom from both snakes, and scorpions.
One of the greatest gifts my mom gave me is my love of cooking. When I was six years old, she would have me pick a vegetable that we would eat for dinner, and show me how to prepare it. From simple things like adding butter to the broccoli to helping her peel potatoes.
When I got older, she taught me how to make biscuits from scratch and making cakes by following recipes and not using a cake mix, Cooking for a family of 12 was a great way for me to learn simple math and fraction skill. Many recipes had to be doubled or even tripled. I got good at making the conversions.
Later when I was in my teens, my mom would leave me instructions on how to prepare full meals from scratch, because she would not be home in time to prepare dinner. When I was 14 years old my mom taught me how to make pie crusts for Thanksgiving. She told me she would make the pie filling for every crust I made. The challenge was on. I made over 20 pie crusts that year, and she made the filling for all of them. We had so many pies we decided to invite family and friends the day before Thanksgiving to eat soup and pie. This tradition continues to this day.
I decided to make the fillings for pies after our first successful pie supper. My mom said she would be laying down if I needed her help. Everything was fine until the filling started overflowing over the pan, I couldn’t understand why this was happening. My mom quizzed me about the different ingredients I used for the filling. I goofed, I used baking soda instead of cornstarch for making the pudding thick. We both had a good laugh. It was a great learning moment for me.
When I was a senior in high school I got tired of eating oatmeal, and other hot cereals for breakfast. I decided to get my younger brothers and sisters to help me make breakfast. For the entire school year, we made gingerbread with applesauce, muffins, waffles, pancakes, and round biscuits. Until this time our family never ate round biscuits. My mom would roll out the dough on the pan, and cut them into squares. She is also great at cooking quickly, It was three cuts horizontally, then four cuts vertically, and they were in the oven cooking.
Mom thanks for the memories, and lots of patience teaching me how to cook. Your legendary homemade bread, and soups have inspired me on my cooking journey.