Alternative names: cardamom, small cardamom, true cardamom
Native to Sri Lanka and the Western Ghats mountain range of southern India, where it is known as the “Queen of Spices, green cardamom offers a warm, pungent, eucalyptus flavour with camphor undertones. Complementing both sweet and savoury foods, it is one of the most versatile and useful spices to have in the kitchen. It is also the third most expensive spice by weight in the world after saffron and vanilla.
Green cardamom is embraced in many well known blends like baharat, shug and ras el hanout and is extensively used in the preparation of Indian and West Asian curries, rice dishes and desserts. In northern Europe it is used to flavour baked goods and fruit desserts such as Christmas stollen, cookies, muffins and buns. In the Middle East it is blended with coffee – and in India with tea, to form masala chai (spiced tea). For best results, lightly bruise the pods before use to release their essential oils.
Produce of the Alta Verapaz region of Guatemala