Spices

Black Cardamom

Price: from $3.90

  • Weight 20 g and 70 g
  • Gluten Free Yes
  • Country of origin India
  • Brand The Spice Trader
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Botanical name   Amomum subulatum   ▪   Family name   Zingiberaceae

Black cardamom is a herbaceous perennial shrub of the ginger family. The pods (fruits) of black cardamom are large (2-3 cm long), hairy, and brown-black, and contain about 30-50 seeds. The seeds are sticky, but once removed from the pod they soon dry out, and it is these, in either whole or ground form, that are most commonly used.

Native range   Eastern Himalayas

Major producers   India

Harvesting   The individual pods are harvested from the flower stalks by hand, from August to November (earlier than for green cardamom), then dried in special drying rooms away from sunlight to preserve the dark brown colour.

Taste and aroma   Black cardamom has a tarry smell and a coarse, strong pine flavour. In contrast to green cardamom, which is considered a ‘cooling’ spice, black cardamom is a ‘heating’ spice.

Culinary uses   Black cardamom is an important ingredient in combination with cloves, cinnamon, and pepper in garam masala and tandoori-style spice mixtures. Black cardamom is also used occasionally in confectionery and pickles. When pods are used whole in vegetable or meat stews they should be removed before serving, but crushed seeds will dissolve into the sauce. The flavour is intense so use sparingly. Black cardamom is never used as a substitute for green cardamom.

Storage   Always try to buy pods that are whole, not broken, and store in an airtight container.

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