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E for Elaichi | A to Z of Indian Foods

With a history that is old as time, Elaichi or Cardamom is the oldest spice in the world. It has found itself in the foods of Royalty from all over the globe. There’s a popular belief that Cleopatra found its aroma so enticing that she had her entire palace scented with its smoke before her dates with Mark Anthony.

Native to India, Cardamom is now grown in Malaysia and Guatemala as well. In India, we use Elaichi in everything from main course to desserts to remedies and even as prasad. Elaichi is truly a gift and we, in India, are blessed to be enjoying it so freely.

I present to you, the next food in my A to Z of Indian Food Series, E for Elaichi!

English Name


Common Indian Names

Elaichi, Elakkai, Velchi, Yalakki

How we eat it
      1. Indian Masala Chai s incomplete without Elaichi
      2. Another drink where elaichi is crucial is the Kashmiri Kahwa
      3. Elaichi is added to Garam Masala
      4. Biryanis, Pulaos, and most rich gravies have the sweet Elaichi aroma as their undertone
      5. It is added to most Indian sweets like kheer, ladoo, halwa.
      6. It is an important ingredient in Panakam, a traditional South Indian cooling drink made with jaggery along with pepper powder, basil and other ingredients had on Ram Navmi
      7. The seeds are chewed on as a mouth freshener and digestive
Claim to fame

Elaichi or Cardamom is regarded as the “Queen of Spices” and it has been elevating both Indian food and Indian health. It is a staple ingredient in every Indian kitchen.

Health Benefits
      1. Cardamom is most popular for its effect on anything gut. It relieves flatulence, reduces acidity and nausea and improves the overall digestion of food consumed.
      2. Elaichi seeds are chewed as a mouth freshener and are great to prevent any oral infections.
      3. Elaichi has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.
      4. It has been shown to have strong anti-carcinogenic properties
      5. A herbal concoction made with Elaichi (or adding elaichi seeds to tea) also reduces anxiety and tension. There is also some improvement in dementia being studied at the moment.
      6. Adding elaichi powder to tea and coffee neutralizes the acidity these foods can cause in the stomach.
      7. Gargling with the infusion of cardamom and cinnamon is known to cure sore throat and hoarseness during the infective stage of the flu.
      8. It is useful for asthma, cold and cough, diseases of the bladder and kidney, flatulence, heart weakness, indigestion, scanty urine and piles.
What makes it so special for diabetics

Cardamom seeds improve glycemic control, and insulin sensitivity and help with the mobilization of stored fat.

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes, it can get confusing and intimidating to figure out a diet that works. You can start your health journey with these simple changes or you can sign up for my one-on-one diabetes reversal program.

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