Cardamom has a sweet, spicy and pungent flavour. The green variety is used in both sweet and savoury dishes. Cardamom has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic, resinous fragrance.
Usually you will break open the pods to use the seeds inside; these are sometimes ground to make cardamom powder for some recipes.
Next to black pepper, cardamom is the most common spice in India. It is also one of the world’s most ancient spices, often glorified as the “Queen of Spices” or the “Grain of Paradise”. It is used widely in India for culinary and medical purposes. Historically its price was second only to saffron, and its use denoted much wealth.
Cardamom is generally available from supermarkets and specialist retailers. When purchasing, look for distinctly green and plump pods, rather than shrivelled or brownish pods.