Cardamom is native to India and Sri Lanka and thrives in shady monsoon forests. It is the dried, unripened fruit of a ginger-like perennial.
Cardamom is warm and aromatic, similar to camphor and eucalyptus, with astringent properties.
The spice is particularly good in sweet recipes and is suited to cakes and biscuits, fruits such as mangoes, and milk or rice puddings.
Cardamom is often used in Indian masala blends, particularly in chicken dishes.