Botanical name: Elettaria cardamomum Maton

Family name: Zingiberaceae

Commercial part: Fruit

Malayalam: Elam (plant), Elathari (seed)

Cardamom combines an exotic aroma with luxurious flavour, giving it the well-deserved nickname 'queen of spices'. Kumily, near Munnar, boasts of the largest cardamom market in the world. A perennial and herbaceous plant, cardamom comes in three varieties; Malabar, Mysore and Vazuka. As the name indicates, Malabar is a native variety found in Kerala.The other Indian states that grow cardamom (small) are Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Cardamom plays a very distinct role in Kerala cuisine. No payasam (a sweet dish often served during festivals and special occasions) is complete without the mouth-watering taste and aroma of cardamom. Cardamom and its powder form are used as flavouring agents around the world in everything from baked foods and confectionaries to savoury dishes.




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