Black cardamom, also known as greater cardamom, badi ilaichi, or winged cardamom, are the seed pods of a perennial herbaceous plant in the ginger family. Black cardamom has a strong and complex flavor that is reminiscent of camphor laurel with citrusy floral notes that give way to deep and earthy smokiness due to the traditional method of drying over open flames. Black cardamom is one of the world's most sought after spices and is used to give a distinctive and memorable flavor to a variety of braised dishes, savory curries, and flavorsome stir-fry dishes. This spice is even used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat malaria and stomach disorders.
Uses: Lightly crush black cardamom to reveal the fragrant seed pods within. The husk can be discarded. Fry the pods (whole or ground) in oil until richly fragrant and add your remaining ingredients. Whole cardamom can also be lightly crushed and put into braises, stews, soups, and curries to add a rich and complex flavor that is distinctive, memorable, and delicious.