This powdered gum resin imparts a very strong onion-garlic flavor to Indian dishes. Use it sparingly—a little goes a long way. Look for it in Indian or health food stores or in the spice section of larger supermarkets.
Indian cooks use this spice in many of their curries and tandoori dishes. It's darker and sweeter than ordinary cumin. To bring out its nutty flavor, it helps to toast the seeds briefly before using them.
Pods of this spice are sold in Indian markets. Some recipes call for the entire pod to be used, others call for the ground seeds. Don't confuse this with the more common (green) cardamom, which comes in round green or tan pods.
This adds an earthy flavor to curries, chutneys, and sauces. It's available as seeds or powder, and you can usually find it in Indian and Middle Eastern markets. If it's not available, just leave it out of the recipe.