Cardamom (/ˈkɑːrdəməm/), sometimes cardamon or cardamum, is a spice made from the seeds of several plants in the genera Elettaria and Amomum in the family Zingiberaceae. Both genera are native to the Indian subcontinent and Indonesia. They are recognized by their small seed pods: triangular in cross-section and spindle-shaped, with a thin, papery outer shell and small, black seeds; Elettaria pods are light green and smaller.
Cardamom has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic, resinous fragrance. Green cardamom, a commonly used ingredient in Indian cooking, is one of the most expensive spices by weight and just a small quantity is needed to impart flavour.. It is best stored in the pod, as exposed or ground seeds quickly lose their flavour. Grinding the pods and seeds together lowers the quality. For recipes requiring whole cardamom pods, a generally accepted equivalent is 10 pods equals 1+1⁄2 teaspoons of ground cardamom.