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The Spice Routes – Cardamom

Spices were from the Antiquity the object of an intense trade by Egyptians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, etc. Then a road, said silk route, developed to bring exotic and extraordinary commodities of the Far East to Europe. The Middle Ages witnessed the birth of the Spice Corporation and the Arabs seized the control of the main caravan roads of these invaluable goods from China and India. After gold and silk, it is spices much appreciated by the affluent classes which urge Europe to navigate on seas because in 1453, Constantinople falls to the hands of the Turks which cut the ground road of supply in spices.

In 1498, Vasco de Gamma doubles the Cape of Bonne Espérance then makes road towards India. He will return with cargo of spices and will inaugurate a new commercial road, marked out by commercial counters, which will compete with the ground road of the silk. The « spice route » followed a route of 7000 miles along the western coast of Africa, by-passed the dangerous Cape of Bonne Espérance, went back up for 5000 miles in the channel of Mozambique then through the Indian Ocean.

GREEN CARDAMOM (seeds)cardamone

Cardamom is known for its carminative and digestive properties. These egg-shaped pods filled with seeds are fruits of a plant native to India. The cardamom exhales a perfume which evokes the lemon and the eucalyptus.

Very slightly pungent and perfumed, we use the cardamom to flavor the dishes of meat and chicken. We can insert the whole seeds of cardamom into sauces in which meats may simmer or still in the preparation of a mixture of spices such the garam masala. The cardamom enters the composition of numerous dishes (curry, lassi and teas) of Indian cuisine.

It can also be used in most desserts to which it adds a touch of exoticism however, it is better to extract its seeds from the pod and crush them. It is sometimes also used to flavor the coffee in Mediterranean countries.

Of a rather high price, cardamom is to be rather bought in capsules (the greens are more perfumed than the brunettes or the whites, the most expensive) from which we extract seeds at the last moment because powder cardamom quickly loses its aroma.

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