Cardamom Eletteria cardamomum
Origin East India, Sri Lanka, and China
Part Used Seeds
This perennial plant, in the same family as ginger, with tiny brown seeds which grow enclosed in a green or white pod varying from 1/4 inch to an inch in length. Those dried indoors retain their color more than the sun dried ones. Pods that are noticeably white may have been blanched, a process that does not noticeably effect the flavor. The sweet, spicy, seed has a pungent lemony flavor that enhances both sweet and savory dishes. It is an essential ingredient in Indian Cuisine from the rice dishes, curry dishes to creamy desert dishes, and is one of several spices found in the traditional Indian spice known as Garam Masala. In India where both green and black cardamom are used, it is an important ingredient in meat and vegetable dishes. In Northern Europe (especially Scandinavia) white cardamom is used to season baked goods such as Christmas stollen, cakes, cookies, muffins and buns. Green cardamom is preferred in India and the Middle East. Cardamom is a pod consisting of an outer shell with little flavor, and tiny inner seeds with intense flavor. Black cardamom, long a staple in African cooking, was originally used in India as a cheap substitute for green cardamom pods. Black cardamom has a unique smoky flavor and has developed its own following over the years. Cardamom is used in Middle Eastern coffees, Swedish Grog and is popular in sweet potato and pumpkin pies of the Southern U.S.
Available Seed or ground