Botanical Name:- ‘Amomum subulatum Roxb’, a plant of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae). It’s a large Cardamom, a perennial herb with subterranean rhizomes and 50-140 aerial leafy shoots. Each shoot has height of 1.7 to 2.6 mtr and possess 9 to 13 leaves in each tiller. Leaves are glabrous on both sides with a prominent mid-rib. Inflorescence is a condensed spike with yellowish perianth. Each spike has 10-15 fruits. Fruit is round or oval shape, capsule with reddish brown colour. Each capsule is trilocular with many seeds.
Source/Origin:- Large Cardamom is cultivated in the Sub-Himalayan region of North Eastern India and in some parts of Uttarakhand. It is one of the main crops cultivated in Sikkim and the Darjeeling district of West Bengal. It is grown in cold humid conditions under shade of forest trees at an altitudes between 800-2000 meters above MSL., with an average rainfall of 3000-3500 mm spread over about 200 days and with temperature ranging from 6-30degree C.
Uses:- It is used as a flavourant in dishes like Pulavu, Biriyani and meat preparations. It is an essential ingredient in mixed spices preparation and curry powder preparation. It has applications in flavouring cola, biscuits, liquors. It gives a powerful smoky aroma, beneath that there is a feel of resin and camphor as well as green cardamom’s menthol, slightly minty aromas. Black cardamom is also used in Ayurvedic and Unani medicines. The decoction of seeds is used as a gargle in infection of teeth and gums. Study reveals that the cardamom seeds are used as preventive as well as curative measure for throat troubles, congestion of lungs, inflammation of eyelids, digestive disorders, etc. (However, it is strongly recommended to consult or take an opinion of an experts before using the spice for any treatment purpose).
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