Cardamom

Also spelled Cardamon, a spice consisting of whole or ground dried fruit, or seeds, of Elettaria cardamomum, a herbaceous perennial of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae). The seeds have a warm, slightly pungent, and highly aromatic flavour somewhat reminiscent of camphor. They are a popular seasoning in Oriental dishes, particularly curries, and in Scandinavian pastries.

This is cultivated in India, Sri Lanka, and Guatemala. Native to the moist forests of southern India, especially in kerala, there are verity plants like malaba, mysore, vazhuka etc, In kerala climate one of the most successful hybrid variety plant is called “ Njallani” it is fast growing ,resistant verity, high yield in production. For this plant climate had a very very high importance in yield .Now in kerala the most suitable areas are Vandanmedu, Anavilasam, Udubumchola, Ellapara ,Munnar,and Kumaly in the districts of Idukki and some of places of Wynad district. Propagation through sucker plant . Normally flowering starts from second and third year of planting and get yield for 10 to 20 years ,this depends up on the maintenance given to plant . Cardamom fruit may be collected from wild plants; Leafy shoot arises1.5 to 6 m (5 to 20 feet) from the branching rootstock. Flowering shoots, approximately 1 meter long, may be upright or sprawling; each bears numerous flowers about 5 cm (2 inches) in diameter with greenish petals and a purple-veined white lip.
The whole fruit, 0.8 to 1.5 cm, is a green, three-sided oval capsule containing 15 to 20 dark, reddish brown to brownish black, hard, angular seeds. They are picked or clipped from the stems just before maturity, cleansed, and dried in the sun or in a heated curing chamber. Cardamom may be bleached to a creamy white colour in the fumes of burning sulfur. After curing and drying, the small stems of the capsules are removed by winnowing. Decorticated cardamom consists of husked dried seeds. Under the favorable condition of the environment a healthy adult plant would annually produce about 2,000 capsules ,with a green weight of about 900 g which on processing about 200 g of dry capsules. The essential oil occurs in large parenchyma cells underlying the epidermis of the seed coat. The essential oil content varies from 2 to 10 percent; its principal components are cineole and a-terpinyl acetate.

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