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Grains of Paradise Seeds Whole

Grains of Paradise Seeds

Aframomum melegueta

Origin: Ghana
From£58.50 per kg

Closely related to cardamom, grains of paradise seeds are used as a spice in cooking and as medicine, thanks to their powerful taste and digestive health benefits. Similar in size to cardamom seeds, grains of paradise seeds have a warm, spicy and slightly bitter flavour which is similar to black pepper. Besides their various culinary uses, in some parts of the world these seeds are chewed to ‘warm’ the body.


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Native to West Africa, grains of paradise typically grows in swampy coastal habitats and are related to cardamom. Often mistaken for alligator pepper (a closely related spice), grains of paradise (aframomum melegueta) is a species of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. This much-loved spice is also commonly known as melegueta pepper, guinea grains, ossame and efom wisa.

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Grains of paradise seeds have long been used in Middle Eastern, Indian, West and North African cooking, and are used to season sauces, curries, stews, paellas and more. They can be used as a substitute for black pepper, and also form part of ras el hanout, a Moroccan spice blend.

Grains of paradise seeds are used in traditional medicine for improving digestive and intestinal health and to aid weight loss and fight obesity. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.

Grains of paradise was used in European beer and winemaking until the 19th century.

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Most of our ingredients can be delivered within 2-3 working days, with free delivery to the UK mainland on all orders over £25 and a 30 day returns policy. For more information, visit our Delivery & Returns page.

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Frequently Asked Questions

No, the two seeds are different. Both are species of aframomum and look similar, so are easily mistaken for one another.

Though it was widely used as a substitute for black pepper in Europe in the 14th and 15th century, grains of paradise does have a distinct taste of its own. It’s not as ‘sharp’ as black pepper, resulting in a more subtle flavour, but if a generous amount is added it can really transform a meal. Containing hints of citrus, pepper, ginger, cardamom and coriander, grains of paradise arguably have a more complex flavour than black pepper.