Grains of Paradise
Grains of Paradise are peppery seeds native to West Africa that are an important ingredient in the spice blend ras el hanout. The pods are harvested in Ghana between February and June as each changes color from green to red, indicating the seeds have fully developed their flavor. Only then are they dried in the sun. The seeds are often ground and added at the end of cooking, imparting their cardamom-like, slightly bitter, peppery flavor.