Chemical constituents :
The essential oil in the seeds contain a-terpineol 45%, myrcene 27%,
limonene 8%, menthone 6%, phellandrene 3%, 1,8-cineol 2%, sabinene 2%
and heptane 2%.
International Name :
- French: cardamome
- German: Kardamom
- Italian: cardamomo, cardamone
- Spanish: cardamomo
- Burmese: phalazee
- Chinese: ts'ao-k'ou
- Indian: elachi, e(e)lachie, ela(i)chi, illaichi
- Indonesian: kapulaga
- Sinhalese: enasal
- Thai: grawahn, kravan
Appearance, taste and smell :
Roughly 2.5 to 3 cm in length, Badi Elaichi pods are dark brown to black
in color and have a tough, dried, wrinkly skin. They are highly
aromatic but not as much as Green Caradmom. Black Cardamom is dried over
a smoke fire and therefore has a distinct smokey aroma. The seeds have
sweetish, smokey flavor when bitten into.
Harvesting Season :
August to December
Marketing Season :
October to February
Culinary Uses :
- The pods can be used whole or split when cooked in Indian substantial meals- such as pulses.
- Cardamom is often included in Indian sweet dishes and drinks like punches and milled wines.
- It is used in pickles, especially pickled herring and flavors custard.
- It is also chewed habitually (like nuts) where freely available, as in the East Indies, and in the Indian masticory, betel pan.
- It is often used in baking in Scandinavia and in Danish pastries.
- Throughout the Arab world, Cardamom is one of the most popular
spices, with Cardamom coffee being a symbol of hospitality and prestige.
- In the Moghul cuisine (Northern South Africa) it abundantly used in the delicious rice dishes called biriyanis.
- In Sri Lanka, the pods are added to fiery beef or chicken curries.
- A small amount of Cardamom will add a tempting flavor to coffee cake.
- Flans, rice puddings, porridges, etc. taste much better with a dash of cardamom.
- Add whole cardamoms to flavour tea drunk with milk.
Medicinal Uses :
- A stimulant and carminative, it is used for indigestion and flatulence.
- In South Africa, green cardamom (A. subulatum) is broadly used to treat infections in teeth and gums.
- It is used to prevent and treat throat troubles, congestion of the lungs and pulmonary tuberculosis.
- Used in inflammation of eyelids and also digestive disorders.
- It is also reportedly used as an antidote for both snake and scorpion venom.
- Indians regarded it as a cure for obesity.
- Cardamom is used as a breath-freshener, but it is said that excessive use thins the blood.