Black Stone Flower is one of the most unusual spices in the Indian repertoire. It is a rare dried flower and a dominant spice in all Chettinad preparations.
Black Stone Flower or Dagad Phool is a soft brown and black coloured lichen that gives the signature black color to various masalas like Goda Masala/Kala Masala. It has a strong earthy aroma and a very dry, light fluffy texture and feel to it. It is widely used in Chettinad cuisine and to some extent in Hyderabadi and Marathi cuisine.
It is an edible lichen flora (a type of fungus), which grows on trees, rocks and stones. When used in small quantities, it imparts a strong woody aroma and flavor to the preparation. For better results it should be roasted in a little oil to release its full aroma.