A member of the ginger family, black cardamom is a relative of green cardamom,with distinct differences in flavour. The perennial plant usually grows to heights of 2-3 metres with long, sword shaped leafy shoots that grow in clumps. Small oval reddish brown fruit with a papery outer shell house black, spindle-shaped seeds. The spice is is dried over an open fire, which gives it such a powerful, heady, smokey aroma. Beneath that are notes of resin and camphor, as well as green cardamom’s menthol, slightly minty aromas, popular in rich, intense curries and vital to the Indian spice blend garam masala.