Black cardamom has a fresh and aromatic aroma which is complex in
nature. It can be described as slightly sweet, floral, and spicy with
Camphor is easily discernible in its odour which gives a strong smoky flavour. It leaves the tongue with a warm antiseptic sensation similar to eucalyptus and a pepper like after taste.
The fruit is 4 to 6 times size of small cardamom. The seed has had the outer pod, or cardamom fruit, removed so that only the pure seeds remain.
Generally the seeds are crushed or ground prior to use, which provides plenty of cardamom flavor at a more economical price.
Amomum (commonly known as black cardamom, Kravan, Java cardamom, Bengal cardamom, Siamese cardamom, white or red cardamom) is distributed mainly in Asia and Australia.
Aframomum (Madagascar cardamom, grains of paradise) is distributed in mainland Africa and Madagascar.
Here we will be discussing, Green Cardamom, Elettaria subulatum
Cardamom has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic
fragrance. Cardamom is best stored in pod form, because once the seeds are
exposed or ground, they quickly lose their flavour.
It is the dried, un ripened fruit of the plant. The small, brown-black sticky seeds are contained in a pod in three double rows with about six seeds in each row.
The fruit capsules, green in colour, which are collected just before maturity, are three-sided, 8 - 25 mm long and 2 - 4 mm wide and have three compartments containing a total of 15 - 20 seeds (2 - 4 mm in diameter).
The seeds are found in oval shaped, roughly triangular fruit pods that are between 1/4 and 1 inch long. Their dried surface is rough and furrowed, the large blacks having deep wrinkles. The texture of the pod is that of tough paper. Pods are available whole or split and the seeds are sold loose or ground.
They have warm and eucalyptine with camphorous and lemony undertones flavour. Enclosed in the fruit pods are tiny, brown, aromatic seeds which are slightly pungent to taste. Cardamom pods are generally green but are also available in bleached white pod form.
It is a perennial bush of the ginger family, with sheathed stems
reaching 10-12 feet in height.
It has a large tuberous rhizome and long, dark green leaves 30-60 cm (1-2 ft) long, 5-15 cm (2-6) wide.
Trailing leafy stalks grow from the plant base at ground level, these bear the seed pods.
The flowers are white with blue stripes and yellow borders.
The fruit is a small capsule with 8 to 16 brown seeds; the seeds are used as a spice.