Elettaria cardamomum seed
Cardamom is the world’s third-most expensive spice, surpassed in price per weight only by vanilla and saffron. Cardamom has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic, resinous fragrance. Black cardamom has a distinctly more smoky, though not bitter, aroma, with a coolness some consider similar to mint.
Green cardamom is one of the most expensive spices by weight, but little is needed to impart flavor. It is best stored in the pod, as exposed or ground seeds quickly lose their flavor. Grinding the pods and seeds together lowers both the quality and the price.
Elettaria cardamomum is a pungent, aromatic, herbaceous, perennial plant, growing to about 2–4 m (6 ft 7 in–13 ft 1 in) in height. The leaves are alternate in two ranks, linear-lanceolate, 40–60 cm (16–24 in) long, with a long pointed tip. The flowers are white to lilac or pale violet, produced in a loose spike 30–60 cm (12–24 in) long. The fruit is a three-sided yellow-green pod 1–2 cm (0.39–0.79 in) long, containing several (15-20) black and brown seeds.
The green pods of the plant are dried and the seeds inside the pod are used in Indian and other Asian Cuisines, either whole or ground. This is the most widely cultivated species of cardamom.