Cardamoms (Ellachi)

There are two types of cardamom pods, the large brownish/black variety (badi ellaichi) and the smaller green pods (choti ellaichi).

The large cardamom pods are used whole to add flavour for rice dishes such as pilaus and biriyani, but they are not to be eaten if you get one on your plate! The large pods are essential when making garam masala.

The smaller green cardamoms (sometimes bleached white although this does not affect the flavour) have very aromatic seeds and are removed by splitting the pod and also used for ‘garam masala’ as well as for savoury dishes, for example in korma and sweet dishes such as rice pudding and Asian sweets (Gulab Jamun), the seeds can be crushed with a pestle and mortar. However, in some recipes the pod can be used whole and is essential for when making garam masala.