Cardamom is a beautifully fragrant, warming and sharp spice native to South India and Sri Lanka. It comes in two colours – green and black, and is one of the most expensive spices after saffron and vanilla. Both green and black cardamom have different uses.
Green cardamom (choti elaichi) has a sweet finish and is primarily used in desserts and beverages. It has potent carminative and antispasmodic properties, and considered an excellent digestive aid to fight bloat and flatulence and relief congestion of the lungs. Ayurvedic medicine recognises green cardamom as tridoshic (good for balancing all three doshas).
Black cardamom (badi elaichi) has a distinctly more smokey aroma with a hint of minty camphor coolness. It is primarily used in curries, basmati pilafs and savoury dishes.
Cardamom taste best freshly powdered and the ground seeds lose their flavour quickly. When buying cardamom, it is best to purchase them intact in their pods and grind when necessary.« Back to Glossary Index