Cardamom ( Elettaria cardamomum),
apart from its medicinal qualities, has a pleasing flavour
trade in Kerala dates back 7500 years. The Spice Coast of Malabar
has found mention in ancient travelogues. And if chilli and pepper
have been the hot favourites across time, the cardamom of Malabar
is considered the best in the world. In fact, today only cardamom
from Kerala is used for any medicinal purposes in the West.
Cardamom ( Elettaria cardamomum), apart from its
medicinal qualities, has a pleasing flavour and aroma that makes
it a chief condiment for tea, cool drinks, confectionaries and sweetmeats,
vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. At 750-1000 m above sea level
the wooded Western Ghats are the home of the cardamom. The hills
of Idukki district, which is the main cultivator of the spice, are
called Cardamom Hills.
India is the world's largest producer of cardamom
and Kerala contributes the lion's share. Commonly used in the state
(and in the country), cardamom is available at all provision stores,
super markets and state owned emporia across the country. Though
the standard price is around Rs. 500/kg to Rs. 600/kg it may vary
depending on quality.