Cardamom fruit as used as spice
Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) is a pungent aromatic spice belonging to the Zingiberaceae family. It is a perennial plant which can grow up to 6-12 feet tall.
Cardamom was first used around 700 A.D. and was imported to Europe for the first time in around 1200 A.D. It is now grown in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Central America.
green seed pods of the plant are dried and the seeds inside the pod are used in
Indian and Asian
cuisine either whole or in a ground form. Ground Cardamom is a primary ingredient
of curry powder.
In Arabia, Cardamom is used to flavour coffee. In many other countries, such as Iran, it's used to flavour tea. This is very tasty, indeed. It's also an ingredient of herbal teas from India, called Yogi tea.
Cardamom has a strong, pungent flavour, with a fragrance reminiscent of eucalyptus oil, while being more complex and subtle. It is often used in Danish pastry and breads.
- All about Cardamom (http://www.avalon.net/~slainte/cardamom.html)
Black cardamom (Amomum subulatum and related species) also of the Zingiberaceae, is used in the same way as the green Indian variety, but with a different flavor.