Cardamom pods are the dried pods of the Elettaria Cardamomum. The pods vary in diameter from 6mm to 8mm and are graded into different coloured packs according to their size.
Cardamom seeds are the heart of the spice. These dark and crunchy seeds have a high concentration of oil content. Every pod contains around eight to sixteen seeds inside. Cardamom seeds are either joint (clustered) or they are single. Commercially, it is the single seeds that are generally used. These are the disjoint seeds of cardamom separated from each other after removal from the pods.
Cardamom powder, also known as ground cardamom is made from crushing the seeds. As the cardamom oil is volatile, the powder needs to be used up immediately in order to gain maximum benefits of the spice. The aroma and flavour of cardamom that comes from the oil disintegrates quickly with exposure to air which is why cardamom powder has a limited shelf life.
Cardamom husk is the outer skin of the fragrant spice. It essentially works as a natural protective covering which preserves the rich aroma. Although many cuisines of the world don’t use cardamom husks but we can still gain some aroma and taste from them. The husks find use in the grinding industry where the strength of the aroma required may not be as high and where the usage of cardamom is primarily for the aroma. But cardamom husks can be added in any oil to make it aromatic or use it in infusions.