Cardamom (or cardamon) belong to ginger family. There are two varieties of cardamom, both take the form of a small seedpod, triangular in cross-section and spindle-shaped, with a thin papery outer shell and small black seeds.
Cardamom has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic fragrance similar to lime.
Elettaria pods are light green in color, while Amomum pods are larger and dark brown/black.
Black cardamom has a distinctly more astringent aroma. It is a common ingredient in Indian cooking, and is often used in baking in Nordic countries, such as in the Finnish sweet-bread pulla. Black cardamom is sometimes used in garam masala for curries. It is occasionally used as a garnish in basmati rice and other dishes.
Cardamom is best stored in pod form, because once the seeds are exposed or ground, they quickly lose their flavor. For cooking should be removed from the pod and crushed with mortar and pestle.
Cardamom pods can be also cooked whole or slightly broken.
Good way to cook cardamom pods is in a muslin / cotton spice bag that can be removed at the end of cooking.