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Cardamom is in the form of a small seedpod, triangular in cross-section and spindle-shaped, with a thin papery outer shell and small black seeds. Cardamom has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic fragrance. It is a common ingredient in Indian cooking, and is often used in baking. One of the most expensive spices by weight, little is needed to impart the flavor. For recipes requiring whole cardamom pods, a generally accepted equivalent is 10 pods equals 1½ teaspoons of ground cardamom. Cardamom is also available in seed form and ground.
In a medium saucepan, combine the fennel seeds, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick, ginger, peppercorns and water. Boil 5 minutes. Remove from heat and steep for 10 minutes. Add the tea. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Strain. Discard spices and return liquid to saucepan. Stir in brown sugar and milk. Serve immediately.