Grain of Paradise (pods)
Grain of Paradise (pods)
Grain of paradise is a spicy pepper, popular in West African and Surinamese cuisine. The small seeds are contained in a seed pod embedded in a jelly-like fluid. The jelly is completely absent after drying.
These unique paradise grain pods are back!
We supply grain of paradise in peeled form and as a fruit box - for peeling yourself. This unpeeled fruit keeps the fine seeds super fresh.
This (pseudo)pepper from Ghana is a member of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae), and is also known as Guinea pepper and malaguetta pepper. It has been an important spice in West African and Surinamese cuisine for centuries.
Like all ginger plants, the plant grows in a warm, moist environment and likes some shade. The rhizome (rhizome) grows just underground. The plant grows to about 2 meters high and has elongated and pointed leaves, like bamboo. Trumpet-like flowers form close to the ground, which appear to emerge directly from the ground, but are on stalks. They are 15 cm long and light purple and soon fall off to make way for large reddish-brown pods (10 cm). These contain red-brown seeds in a jelly-like liquid, the grain of paradise.
It takes three years for sown plants to produce a usable harvest. From then on, harvesting can be done for four years in a row. The pods are picked when they are ripe. Only a modest portion is sold fresh, the lion's share is left to dry in the sun.
Grain of paradise tastes stronger and is sharper than regular pepper due to the ketone paradol, an antioxidant that is only found in these peppers, and in ginger.
The grain of paradise is closely related to other African pepper plants, such as the Aframomum danielli, whose seeds are called mbongo spice or alligator pepper, and the very rare Aframomum angustifolium, the Madagascar cardamom. Grain of paradise is rarely sold unpeeled - with us it is! - , as a rule, only the individual seeds are available.
Smell and taste
Grain of paradise is a spice that smells of forest and wet wood. It tastes sharp at first, later pleasant citrus notes and notes of cinnamon, cloves and cardamom (a distant relative) emerge. The aftertaste is pleasant. Some of the taste and smell determining essential oils in grain of paradise are:
- -paradol, the dominant pungent substance, is also found in ginger,
- -gingerol, better known as the sharpness of ginger, when dried becomes -shoagol, twice as sharp as gingerol
- β-caryophyllene, sweet spicy and woody
- linalyl acetate, responsible for a pleasant citrus, bergamot and lavender scent,
- sabinene, responsible for the woody, camphoraceous flavor of black pepper and nutmeg, among others
- β-myrcene, spicy aroma, with notes of fruits (mango, grape, peach) and mint,
- α-caryophyllene (humulene), hops, as in beer and cannabis
- d-limonene, responsible for the citrus aromas,
After opening the seed pod, the grains are ground just like peppercorns - in the pepper mill or in a mortar. A good ras el hanout contains grain of paradise, which is called 'gouza sahraouia' in Morocco. In many versions of ras-el-hanout it is now replaced by cubeb pepper, or black pepper. Grain of paradise is on the rise again, not only in African cuisines, but also in beers, spirits and European cuisine.
Grain of paradise is delicious with lamb dishes, zucchini, potatoes and eggplant.
- 100% fruits of the Aframomum meleguetta (unpeeled)
- origin: Cameroon
- available in glass, stand-up pouch and test tube
- glass jar contains 45 grams
- stand-up pouches with a capacity of up to 30 to 500 grams
- available peeled in 10 ml test tube
- larger quantities on request
- the jar is available in a tasteful gift packaging, consisting of a cube box filled with black tissue paper
- for an overview of our gift packaging, please refer to the gift packaging section
- grind the pepper at the last minute to maximize the aroma
- store the pepper in a dark, dry and cool place
- store your grain of paradise in closed packaging
- preferably store in a dark, dry and cool place
- best before February 2026 (02/26)
- this expiration date is an indication
Would you like to know what grain of paradise tastes like?