Black Cardamom

The black cardamom is a member of the zingiberaceae family, which has an uplifting menthol element that produces a smoky, brash and bold flavour to Indian dishes.

It is often used interchangeably and mistaken for the green cardamom, but both do not come from the same plant. Some books also refer to black cardamom as an inferior alternative to green cardamom, but the truth is that they both have different flavours.Black cardamoms are very much preferred for spicy and rustic Indian recipes, while green cardamoms are mostly used in Imperial dishes because of their light blend of sweetness and aroma. Other than cooking, they are also used as an alternative medicine in India and Nepal to treat stomach disorders and malaria.

The black cardamom pod is about one inch long and a half-inch thick in size. It has a dark brown color and not really black as many expect them to be. It comes in many names, such as hill cardamom, Bengal cardamom, greater cardamom, Indian cardamom, Nepal cardamom, winged cardamom and brown cardamom.

Although there are many varieties of black cardamoms, they do not vary in taste very much. When used cooking, the pods should be slightly crushed before adding them to the recipe. They are often used in small amounts so that they do not overpower the dish. After achieving the desired aroma and flavour, most chefs remove them from the food before serving. Achieving the perfect taste of black cardamoms entails skills and patience. For a more delectable flavor and captivating aroma, chefs would usually take some time braising meat with crushed pods for a few hours as part of their meal preparation.