Ilaichi (noun.) or Cardamom (in English) has a strong, pungent flavour and aroma. Its pods contain seeds that can be used whole or ground in dishes. Ayurveda mentions the use of the herb in the treatment of nausea and indigestion. 

The herb is native to the north-eastern region of India (on the borders of Nepal) where one can find both the black and green varieties of cardamom. The spicy citrusy taste of cardamom makes it suitable for both sweet and savoury dishes in a variety of cuisines like biriyanis, pilau rice, muffins, cakes, bakery dishes, curries and rolls.
Black cardamom pods, which technically belong to the species Amomum subulatum (as opposed to green cardamom’s Elettaria cardamomum), are larger and dark brown in colour. With a smoked mint, almost menthol-like flavor, black cardamom is much more severe in taste than its fragrant green counterpart. With a grand over-the-top flavour and healing properties, it has earned the title of queen of spices and it is indeed the kitchen royalty.


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