Black cardamom

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Black cardamom
Black cardamom fruit as used as spice
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Zingiberales
Family: Zingiberaceae
Genus: Amomum
Species: A. subulatum, A. costatum
Binomial name
Amomum subulatum, Amomum costatum[citation needed]
(A. subulatum) Roxb. (A. costatum) Benth. & Hook.f.

Black cardamom, also known as hill cardamom,[1] Bengal cardamom,[1] greater cardamom,[1] Indian cardamom,[1] Nepal cardamom,[1] winged cardamom,[1] or brown cardamom, comes from either of two species in the family Zingiberaceae. Its seed pods have a strong camphor-like flavor, with a smoky character derived from the method of drying.

Characteristics[edit]

The pods are used as a spice, in a similar manner to the green Indian cardamom pods, but with a different flavor. Unlike green cardamom, this spice is rarely used in sweet dishes. Its smoky flavor and aroma derive from traditional methods of drying over open flames.

Species[edit]

There are at least two distinct species of black cardamom: Amomum subulatum (also known as Nepal cardamom) and Amomum costatum. The pods of A. subulatum, used primarily in the cuisines of India and certain regional cuisines of Pakistan, are the smaller of the two, while the larger pods of A. costatum (Chinese: wiktionary:草果; pinyin: cǎoguǒ; Vietnamese: thảo quả) are used in Chinese cuisine, particularly that of Sichuan; and Vietnamese cuisine.

Culinary uses[edit]

Black cardamom is often erroneously[2] described as an inferior substitute for green cardamom by those unfamiliar with the spice; actually it is just not as well suited for the sweet/hot dishes which typically include cardamom, and that are more commonly prepared outside the plant's native range. Black cardamom, by contrast, is better for hearty meat stews and similar dishes. Although the flavor differs from the smaller green cardamom, black cardamom is sometimes used by large-scale commercial bakers because of its cheapness.[citation needed]


In China[edit]

In China, the pods are used for Jin-Jin braised meat dishes, particularly in the cuisine of the central-western province of Sichuan.

In Vietnam[edit]

The pods are also often used in Vietnam, where they are called thảo quả and used as an ingredient in the broth for the noodle soup called phở.

Distribution[edit]

The largest producer of the black cardamom is Nepal followed by India and Bhutan.

Medicinal uses[edit]

In Chinese medicine, black cardamom is used for stomach disorders and malaria.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]