Cardamom commonly known as green or true cardamom, is a herbaceous, perennial plant in the ginger family, native to southern India. It is the most common of the species whose seeds are used as a spice called cardamom. It is cultivated widely in tropical regions and reportedly naturalized in Reunion, Indochina, and Costa Rica.
Cardamom is a typical ginger-type plant except that it is huge, standing as much as 12 ft tall. Thick, fleshy rhizomes give rise to erect shoots that bear two rows of linear-lance-shaped leaves each about 2 ft long. The leaves are smooth and dark green above, silky and paler beneath. They taper to an acute point. The inflorescences develop on separate, horizontal stems that spread along the ground. They are loose panicles about 2 ft long, consisting of many small blossoms that have white or yellowish petals with lilac veins and pink or yellow margins. The fruits are thin-walled, smooth-skinned, oblong, greenish capsules about 1-2 cm long. Each contains 15-20 aromatic reddish brown seeds. Cardamom pods are common in Indian cooking.
Cardamom is a pungent, aromatic, herbaceous, perennial plant, growing to about 2–4 m (6 ft 7 in–13 ft 1 in) in height. The leaves are alternate in two ranks, linear-lanceolate, 40–60 cm (16–24 in) long, with a long pointed tip. The flowers are white to lilac or pale violet, produced in a loose spike 30–60 cm (12–24 in) long. The fruit is a three-sided yellow-green pod 1–2 cm (0.39–0.79 in) long, containing several (15-20) black and brown seeds.
Cardamom is valued as one of the most expensive spice in the world after saffron and vanilla due to its unique flavor and odor. It has been one of the most important herbal spices traded between several civilizations through western Asia (Middle East) to Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. The traditional pharmaceutical properties of this aromatic spice have been narrated in ancient Vedic literature dating back 3000 years. The aboriginal Egyptians used in Cardamom perfumes and aromatic biotic materials which release fragrant smoke when burnt.
The green seed pods of the plant are dried and the seeds inside the pod are used in Indian and other Asian cuisines, either whole or ground. It is the most widely cultivated species of cardamom; for other types and uses, see cardamom.
Cardamom pods as used as spice.
True cardamom may have been used in Ayurveda medicine as early as the 4th century BC.Ground cardamom is an ingredient in many Indian curries and is a primary contributor to the flavour of masala chai. In Iran and India, cardamom is used to flavour coffee and tea. In Turkey, it is used to flavour the black Turkish tea, kakakule