Black Cardamom Pods
The strong, smokey, camphor-like flavour of black cardamom is due to the seed pod’s unique drying method over an open flame. Although it is sometimes used as a less expensive substitute for green cardamom, its flavours and appearance are very different. Black cardamom has a long history of use as a spice for its bold taste and slight minty aroma. Unlike green cardamom, black cardamom is rarely used in sweet dishes. The spice is often employed as a culinary ingredient in India and regional cuisines around Pakistan.
Most traditional preparations of black cardamom are in herbal wellness formulations or as a kitchen spice. Cardamom pods are often simmered whole but can easily be freshly hulled or ground into a powder for even more intense flavour. Black cardamom is traditionally combined with other robust flavours such as dried chiles and black pepper, and acids like lemon or lime juice. Black cardamom pods can be simmered in lentil dishes, rice dishes, dry rubs – including garam masala, broths, and curries. Or the adventurous person may want to try substituting for green cardamom in chai tea for a hint of smokiness.