Black Cardamom

black-cardamom

Cardamom (Amomum sabulatum Roxb), is an herbaceous perennial cash crop also referred to as the “Queen of Spices”. There are 16 varieties of cardamom in the world. Among them, five types of large cardamom are cultivated across Nepal: Ramsey, Golsey, Sawney, Chibesey and Dammersey.black-cardamom-seeds-815388

Nepal is one of the largest growers of black cardamom.  Native to sub-Himalayan region, black cardamom is the dried fruit of a perennial herbaceous plant of the ginger family.  Apart from its usage in India, Nepal and other Asian countries, black cardamom is not very common.  Some people describe black cardamom as an inferior substitute to green cardamom, but it is considered a valuable spice in Nepal.  When cooked with this spice, it enhances and intensifies the taste of food without overpowering a dish.  It is one of the ingredients used to make NepaliGaram Masala spice blends, and is also used in meat curries, rice dishes and pickles.  It is available in Indian and Nepali food stores.  Look for pods with moist, sweet seeds, and smoky fragrance.  Old pods with splits and cracks will have poor quality seeds with no flavor. 

Due to increased demand in the international market and favorable climatic c cardamom_plant3ondition, cardamom has become a major cash crop for farmers in the mid-hills in the last two decades. At present, an estimated 12,000 hectares in over 40 mid-hill regions are under cardamom cultivation with estimated annual production of 6,000 metric tons. Cardamom oil is a precious ingredient in food preparations, perfumery, health foods, medicines and beverages. A large volume of dried but un-graded cardamom is traded in the Indian and Pakistani markets. It has market potential in the international market because of the growth in demand of plan-based cosmetics and flavors.

Taplejung is one of the potential districts for cardamom development for income and employment generation of the local community. At present, the area under cardamom cultivation in Taplejung District is 2,925 hectares with 1,316 metric tons annual production.

In a clustered district approach, Pacnchthar is another district for cardamom development where cardamom has increased income and employment generation of the local community. Cardamom are occupies 1,605 hectares of land with 654 metric tons annual production.

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