Black cardamom (also known as Brown Cardamom pods) is a warming spice and has smoky sweet earthy flavour. It is commonly used in Indian, Chinese and Middle Eastern cooking. It is available as black or brownish whole pod.
The whole pods can be used raw or can be fried in oil to release the hot and peppery flavour. Black pods are spicier than the green cardamom cousin and is more appropriate for rustic dishes. It can be used liberally and won’t dominate a dish – it enhances and intensifies the flavours of the other ingredients. Crushing the pods slightly, without releasing the seeds, releases the flavour fully.
Black cardamom is a key constituent of Garam Masala and Moroccan blend. It is often used to cook lentils, soups, hearty meats, rice dishes, tandoors (Indian clay oven) and vegetable dishes. It can be used in beverages, tea, coffee, herbal infusions, cakes, chutneys and rice pudding.