This cardamom might not look like your usual bright green cardamom, but fear not – this is completely normal! Mitakawani cardamom is grown completely organically and has little scars on its outer shell which are accumulated during its lifetime as a little organic cardamom pod.
The cardamom here is harvested when completely ripe and then dried in the sun, as has been the process for generations. Unlike a lot of commercially available green cardamom, no chemicals or commercial dryers are used to maintain the bright green colour.
Due to this natural process and the tropical temperatures, the pods turn straw yellow. While this method is seen as primitive by some of the bigger producers, these communities make use of this sustainable energy source (the sun) and prevent deforestation, avoiding the use of kiln-fired drying chambers or huge amounts of electricity and gas.
In Zanzibar, all milk (whether it is dairy or plant-based like coconut) products are flavoured with this cardamom. Just boil a few crushed pods with your milk of choice for a few minutes to give it an incredible sweet, floral flavour. It’s also brilliant in any kind of Scandinavian pastry or you can even try it in some savoury dishes.