Ela ( sthula ) (black cardamom)


The seeds are credited with:

  • acrid,
  • alexipharmic,
  • anodyne,
  • appetiser,
  • aromatic,
  • astringent,
  • bitter,
  • cardiac tonic,
  • carminative,
  • depurative,
  • digestive,
  • diuretic,
  • expectorant,
  • febrifuge,
  • fragrant,
  • liver tonic,
  • stimulant,
  • stomachic,
  • sudorific and
  • thermogenic properties

And are prescribed for the treatment of:

  • indigestion,
  • vomiting,
  • biliousness,
  • abdominal pains,
  • halitosis and
  • rectal diseases.

Beneficial as an aphrodisiac and in fainting, insanity and flatulence.

Promotes elimination of bile, and is useful in liver affections such as congestion of the liver, especially where abscess threatens.

It is also useful in neuralgia.

How to grow this plant at home?

To sow, the smaller seeds should be sown in a light but rich starting medium buried shallowly beneath the surface of the soil (approximately 1/8")

Cardamom requires a steady supply of moisture and will not tolerate drought. If growing in a greenhouse, it should be kept humid and maintained carefully. Cardamom is not tolerant of cold, but should be kept in a location with many hours of partially occluded sunlight.

Elettaria cardamomum is native to tropic regions, and can grow to heights of 10' or more, with the tall stems showing long, alternate leaves.

Cardamom is native to tropical regions, and should only be grown outdoors in hardiness zones 10-13, where minimum temperatures approximately 35 degrees or higher. It can be grown with care indoors or in a greeenhouse in zones 9 and lower, or overwintered carefully if grown in a large, deep container that can be moved indoors as needed.

Cardamom can reach heights of ten feet or more by the third year.

Prefers a rich, loamy, slightly acidic soil with a pH approximately 6.1-6.6. For best results, fertilize or amend soil with minerals phosphorus and potassium.


  1. Cardamom chicken masala


1 ¼ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast (600 g)

 4 tablespoons vegetable oil

 1 tablespoon minced garlic

 2 ½ teaspoons peeled and finely grated fresh ginger

 1 onion, grated on the largest grating holes on a box grater or shredded in a food processor

 ¾ teaspoon cumin seeds

 4 whole green cardamom pods

 1 large fully ripe tomato, cut into 4 pieces

 ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

 ¾ teaspoon ground red cayenne pepper

 ¾ teaspoon salt

 ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Wash the chicken with cold water and cut into 3/4-inch (2-cm) pieces.
  2. Pour the oil into a large skillet and place over medium heat. When the oil is heated, add the garlic, ginger and onion. Sauté until the onion is golden brown, stirring frequently, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add the cumin seeds. Open the cardamoms and add the seeds and the pods. Stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the tomato and cover the skillet. Cook until the tomato becomes completely soft and mashed and is combined with the onion to form a coarse paste, stirring every minute or so and lightly mashing the tomato, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the turmeric, red pepper, salt and black pepper. Stir to combine. Cook uncovered for 7 minutes, stirring frequently. This is the masala (spice base).
  5. Add the chicken. Stir to combine and increase the heat to medium. Cook uncovered until there are no signs of pink when you insert a knife though the chicken, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the cardamom pods and discard. Enjoy now or let cool to room temperature and refrigerate or freeze for later!
  1. Chicken Curry with Black Cardamom


1 kg Chicken

1 cup finely chopped onion

1 cup roughly chopped onion (this will go into paste)

1 cup of dry coconut

2 tbl spn poppy seeds (khuskhus)

1 tbl spn sesame seeds (til)

2 tbl spn ginger garlic paste

A pinch turmeric

2 tbl spn coriander powder

1 tbl spn red chili powder

1 tbl spn spn garam masala

½ tea spn cardamom powder


2" cinnamon

2-3 cloves

3-4 black cardamom(masala velchi/moti elaichi)

3-4 peppercorns

2 bay leaves


  1. Dry roast poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dry coconut, cool them and grind to powder.
  2. In a pan, heat oil and fry the roughly chopped onion till they are golden brown and grind to a paste.
  3. Heat oil and add finely chopped onion, 1 tbl spn ginger garlic paste.
  4. Fry till the onions are translucent.
  5. Add turmeric, coriander powder, red chilli powder, fry for a minute.
  6. Add the chicken, salt and cook till chicken is halfway cooked.
  7. In a separate pan, heat oil and add whole spices.
  8. Add remaining ginger-garlic paste, ground coconut, poppy seeds, sesame seed powders, onion paste, cardamom powder, garam masala.
  9. Fry for few minutes and then add the half cooked chicken.
  10. Add water to bring it to required consistancy. Adjust salt.
  11. Serve hot.
  1. Basmati Rice with Black Cardamom and Lime Recipe


2 cups of long-grained rice, preferably basmati

2 medium yellow onions, finely diced

5 black cardamom pods

6 small dried red chiles, preferably chiles de japonés

Juice of one lime

1/3 cup of oil



  1. Heat a large pot on medium-high, then add the oil. When it starts to shimmer, add the chiles and black cardamom pods and stir constantly till fragrant, about a minute.
  2. Add the rice and stir so the oil coats each grain. Scrape the bottom of the pan frequently to prevent sticking, as the rice will give off plenty of starch. When the edges of the grains have turned translucent and the centers are milky white, add the water, bring to a boil, and cover, turning the heat down to medium.
  3. After 25 minutes, left the lid and check on the rice. Depending on the juiciness of your onions and the thirstiness of your rice, you may need to add some water or let some excess evaporate. Add salt to taste, loosen the stuck rice from the bottom of the pan, and add the lime juice. Let the rice cool slightly before serving.


  1. http://www.hashmidawakhana.co.in/amomum-subulatum-roxb.html
  2. http://www.heirloom-organics.com/guide/va/guidetogrowingcardamom.html
  3. https://rasamalaysia.com/cardamom-chicken-masala-murgh/
  4. https://www.aayisrecipes.com/chicken/chicken-curry-black-cardamom/
  5. https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2010/07/basmati-rice-with-black-cardamom-and-lime-recipe.html