What Is Black Cardamom?
Black cardamom’s or Badi Elaichi scientific name is Amomum subulatum. It grows in pods on an herbaceous plant belonging to the Zingiberaceae (ginger) family. The pods have a tough, dried, wrinkly skin, are roughly one inch in length, and house small, sticky, dark-colored seeds. Black cardamom has a pungent aroma with a citrus and eucalyptus flavor.
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Several species of the genus Amomum are distributed all over the mountainous area from the Himalayas to Southern China. The main production regions are Eastern Nepal, India, and Bhutan. More than 50 percent of the world’s harvest is produced in India.
Varieties of Black Cardamom
There are at least two species of black cardamom (Badi Elaichi): amomum subulatum and amomum tsao-ko. The type used in Indian cuisine is amomum subulatum, which is smaller than the amomum tsao-ko version, the black cardamom used in Chinese cooking.