Cardamom is native to the beautiful evergreen rainforests of southern India. I had hoped to visit some cardamom plantations on my recent visit to Kerala but sadly the monsoon rains had made the roads unsafe.
There are two types of cardamom:
- Elettaria – green cardamom – from India and Malaysia
- Amomum – black cardamom from Nepal and Australia
The plant grows up to 4 meters in length and starts bearing seed pods after about two years of implantation. Each pod measures about 1-2cm in length and contains around 12 seeds.
From a health perspective, Cardamom is a good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Potassium in an important part of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. As an Indian, I’ve always heard from my elders that it’s good for digestion and this is why it’s added to ‘Chai’ or Indian Tea and to many after dinner sweets.
Recipes using cardamom