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Black cardamom  - Amomum subulatum

Black Cardamom   ( Amomum subulatum )

In Hindi it is called Badi Elaichi, Kala Elaichi or Moti Elaichi. Black cardamom is similar in appearance to Indian green cardamom but differs is size, color and flavor. The pods of Badi Elaichi are dark brown to black in color with a thick, dried, wrinkled skin. The pods are aromatic but not as much as the green cardamom. Black Cardamom has a sweet, smoky flavor and aromatic due to drying of the pods over a smoke fire.

The cardamon pods are used as a spice, in a similar manner to the green Indian cardamom pods, but have a different flavor. Black Cardamom is one of the main ingredients in the making of North Indian style Garam Masala, few other masalas (spice mixes) and Pan Masala. Unlike green cardamom, badi elaichi is used mostly in savory dishes like curries and biryani and rarely used in sweet dishes. Usually the whole cardamom is tempered in a little oil to allow it to fully release its flavors and aroma. Crushed Black cardamom enhances and intensifies the taste of other ingredients.

Medicinal uses of black cardamom are many. It cures stones of the kidney and gall bladder and is also used to treat stomach ailments and dental problems. It is also chewed as a mouth freshener. It aids digestion and is a stimulant. It has a calming effect on the digestive tract and is used as a remedy for gastritis and dyspepsia. It is also used to treat respiratory problems like asthma. Cardamom has anti-inflammatory properties and helps reduce muscle spasms. Black cardamom is used to treat sexual disorders, premature ejaculation and impotency.

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