A few weeks ago a friend of mine introduced me to the delights of cardamom tea. I find it is a very relaxing tea that for me at least, cools the heat of spicy food so I don't get stomach burn. It has a taste similar to pilau rice and is mildly sweet. It is made boiled fresh in a pan rather than a kettle and takes longer to make but you can reuse the cardamom pods again by freezing them after use.
Here's how my friend taught me to make it:
1. Pour a cup of water per person into a pan (hob off) and add a small handful of cardamom pods to the water. Usually 2-3 pods per cup / person.
2. Bring to a boil and continue to boil this for about 5-10 minutes to infuse the water with flavour.
3. Add one teabag per person / cup to the boiling water and continue to boil for a few minutes until the tea is as strong as you like it. With this tea the stronger, the better. You will notice the water will colour very fast, so keep and eye on it or it may turn stronger than you like before you can fish the teabags out!
4. Remove the teabags. At this point if you like your tea without milk, you are finished. Turn off the hob, strain the pods and serve with sugar (if you take it).
If like me you like milky tea, leave the pods in and add your milk to the pan. Boil this until the milk froths up almost to the top of the pan, then take it off the heat, strain the pods and serve with optional sugar.
NB: If you like a 'thick' tea then use a fuller fat milk. Also, I tried this tea out on my boyfriend and he added a touch of vanilla essence to it which really enhanced the cardamom and made it taste more amazing. I also think in winter perhaps adding a clove to the pods in the water will work nicely but I have yet to try this.