Cardamom is the dried unripened fruit from a perennial bush which is a member of the ginger family, and is grown commercially in India and Guatemala. The tiny green papery pods from the cardamom bush contain tiny brown/black seeds which give a characteristic aroma - they have a slight lemony flavour and a hint of eucalyptus. The seeds loose their flavour very quickly after they are removed, so it is best to buy unsplit pods in small quantities.
Uses: Cardamom is used in sweet and savoury dishes all over the world, ranging from curries and rice dishes to Danish pastries and fruit salads. It is an ingredient in garam masala, a spice mixture used in curries.
To prepare: Either open and remove the seeds, which can be used whole or ground or crush the pod lightly and discard it after cooking. The outer green pod is not eaten.