Black cardamom has a fresh and aromatic aroma which is complex in nature. It can be described as slightly sweet, floral and spice having citric elements. Large black cardamom (badi elaichi) has a strong, unique taste with an intensely aromatic fragrance. Large Cardamom is best stored in pod form because once the seeds are exposed or grounded they quickly lose their flavour. Roughly 2.5 to 3 cm in length, the pod is dark brown to black in colour and have a tough, dried and wrinkly skin. Black cardamom is dried over a smoke fire and therefore has a distinct smoky aroma. The seeds have sweetish, smoky flavour when bitten into. The pods can be used in their whole or split forms while cooking. Cardamom is often included in Indian sweet dishes and drinks like punches and milled wines. It is used in pickles, especially pickled herring and flavoured custard. A stimulant and carminative, it is used curing indigestion and flatulence.
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