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What if you suddenly realized you didn’t have any black cardamom in your kitchen? Are there any decent substitutes? There is, indeed! Cinnamon, mace, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, coriander seeds, and other spices are excellent alternatives for black cardamom.

Forget about this amazing ingredient’s mysterious flavor and versatility. Did you know that cardamom is one of the most expensive spices in the world?

Just a few other spices, such as saffron and vanilla, are more expensive.

Worst case scenario, it is well appreciated in all cuisines throughout the world, therefore demand for it is absurdly high.

Since it is valued like gold in the spice world, you may want to pick a more affordable substitute, such as the ones described in this article.

Let’s have a short look at them!

What Is Black Cardamom?

Black Cardamom is a variety of cardamom from the Zingiberaceae family that has been severely dried and the seeds removed from the pods.

Black Cardamom is mostly grown in India, Bhutan, and Eastern Nepal. Its taste is maybe the most difficult to explain.

Others describe the flavor as a cross between ginger and cinnamon. Others spoke about how it had a minty taste with notes of lemon.

Several people laughed because it tasted like nutmeg and cinnamon.

If this poked seed keeps everyone’s hand on their mouth, it’s absolutely unusual.

Yet, based on what I’ve tasted and what other great chefs have said, black cardamom has a stronger mint and smoky flavor than green cardamom.

It’s also great for braised meats and savory dishes because of its smokey taste.

Cardamom comes in a variety of colors, including white, green, and black.

Black cardamom pods are often larger than green cardamom pods and have a brown to black tint.

You may use them whole and then remove the seeds, or you can separate the seeds from the hull first and crush them into powder before adding them to your favorite curries or masala dishes.

Nevertheless we suggest gently toasting the pods on a dry pan before using to enhance their taste and scent.

Additionally, you may use this extra-special spice to provide warmth to both savory and sweet foods.

Whether it’s challah with roast chicken, rice pudding, hot cocoa, blondies, snickerdoodles, or something else.

Consider how many different ways you may use black cardamom: soups, chowders, marinades, casseroles, cakes, payasam, and so on.

Related: Substitutes for Lime Marmalade

10 Most Preferred Black Cardamom Substitutes

These are some black cardamom substitutes you could look into:

1. Cinnamon

Cinnamon seems to be one of the greatest black cardamom alternatives. The primary distinction between cardamom and cinnamon is that the former has more vitamins and minerals.

They are, nonetheless, related in terms of flavor. Although they may not have the same taste, they are the same in terms of sweetness.

Cinnamon has a sweet woody taste with a zesty undertone. Moreover, its spicy flavor feels like a clove punch in your tongue.

It makes no difference whether you use ground or stick cinnamon. The sole difference is in texture and application. They usually have the same flavor.

I’m sure you’ve enjoyed them in apple dessert, cookies, rice pudding, French toast, churros, pumpkin, squash, sweet potato pie, and beverages.

2. Nutmeg

Who doesnt know nutmeg?

If you’re familiar with this well-known spice, just saying its name may bring back memories of its earthy, mild nutty sweetness.

Nutmeg is also regarded as a sweet condiment rather than a sugary sweet product.

Yet, it is nuttier, which makes it perfect for both savory and sweet meals, such as meats, sausages, substantial soups or stews, vegetables, potatoes, sauces, beef, puddings, and baked goods.

It is available as a whole seed or ground spice. Since they both have a similar taste character, any one would be a viable substitution for cardamom.

Use a 1:1 ratio when substituting it for cardamom.

3. Mace

Mace is the reddish seed coating of the nutmeg seed.

Interestingly, this nutmeg product has the same taste profile as cardamom.

It is less powerful and dense than nutmeg, with a touch of cinnamon and black pepper.

Its delicate flavor complements most baked items, vegetables, meat, and seafood, as well as preserving and pickling.

Related Article: Rutabaga Substitutes

4. Cloves

Looking for a substitute for cardamom to add nuanced flavor to meats, sweets, or beverages?

Believe me, clove works better!

This scented flower bud comes from a Myrtaceae tree and has a somewhat bitter and astringent undertone, similar to cardamom.

With clove, you can never go wrong. The strongly fragrant overtones have a gently sweet taste that adds warmth to any food, whether it’s marinades, salmon, stews, fruits, beverages, pies, mulled wine, rice, or Chai.

Apart from that, it is extremely therapeutic and works well with other mildly sweet spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice.

When substituting cardamom, use it sparingly because it has a stronger flavor.

5. Allspice

Dried berries are used to make allspice. The taste is instantly reminiscent of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and pepper.

These are excellent substitutes for whole or powdered cardamom.

If you’re using it whole, pair it with some cloves for an added flavor boost in your lamb or beef.

The grind may be used directly in baked goods, soups, stews, meats, and vegetables, or for flavoring glazes and sausage for ham.

Moreover, allspice is a vital component in Jamaican jerk flavor, a hot concoction that spices up pig or chicken for an immediate street party.

Since allspice has a stronger taste than cardamom, it should be handled with caution.

Related: Can You Substitute Mixed Spice for Allspice?

6. Coriander Seeds

Coriander is another fascinating replacement for black cardamom, having a similar sweet, fragrant flavor and a citrus undertone.

This component is indigenous to the Mediterranean and Southern Europe. You may consume them as whole seeds or ground.

And it goes well with most cardamom foods, whether they are soups, stews, stir-fries, Indian curries, marinades, pickled vegetables, or baked goods.

7. Ginger

Ginger also has a sweet peppery taste as well as a spicy fragrance. It is high in medicinal characteristics and is often used as a condiment in most dishes.

It comes fresh, dried, candied, pickled, preserved, or as a powder that may be used in meat, vegetable, and seafood recipes.

Ground ginger, on the other hand, is frequently used in Western cooking to flavor cookies, quick breads, and beverages.

This blooming plant has a strong odor. Its familial ties to turmeric and cardamom make it an ideal option.

8. Galangal

Galangal, a South Asian spice, is another good substitute for black cardamom. It is related to ginger and turmeric, but it has a whiter, smoother, and denser flesh than ginger.

When I can’t get cardamom and galangal is available, I utilize them without hesitation. And I’ve seen most ardent home chefs admit it’s a terrific substitution.

However, there are numerous varieties of galangal, each with a distinct flavor.

Nevertheless, galangal tastes more peppery than ginger, with a somewhat sweet undertone.

You’ll like them in sauces (such as satay sauce meals), curries, noodles, TomYum soup, and stir-fries.

Aside from being a common ingredient, it is an excellent remedy in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine.

We suggest using them in lower amounts. Also, since the flesh is a little firmer, it is advisable to detach chunks of it. You may also use the ground form in your meals.

Also see: Oregano Substitutes

9. Cumin

Cumin is related to parsley, but its strong sweet-bitter earthy taste might stand in for mint and smokey black cardamom.

It is a popular ingredient in Indian, Latin American, Middle Eastern, and North African cuisines.

You may use it whole or ground to give immediate depth to any recipe, including meat, rice, vegetables, soups, sauces, pickling, pastries, and so on.

They’re very good for empanadas or tamales. In refried beans, tortilla soup, and chili, for example.

10. Apple Pie Spice

If you use apple pie spice instead of black cardamom in sweet foods like cookies, muffins, pies, smoothies, or cupcakes, you will need to add additional spices like clove or ginger.

A pinch of this spice smells strongly of cardamom.

It’s a delicious combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. It may be found in any grocery store’s spice department.

Also, you have the freedom to change the spices in the combination to your liking.

Here’s a list of alternative spice combinations to try:

  • 1 teaspoon allspice is equal to 1 teaspoon cardamom.
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom equals 2 teaspoon nutmeg. 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 tsp cumin = 1 tsp cardamom + 1 tsp coriander + 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 teaspoon galangal equals 1 teaspoon cardamom.
  • 2 tsp allspice=1 tsp cardamom+ 1 tsp coriander+ 1 tsp nutmeg+1
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon + 1 teaspoon nutmeg equals 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom Equals 4 teaspoon allspice 14 teaspoon nutmeg+14 teaspoon cinnamon+11 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon mace equals 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom Equals 2 teaspoon ginger +11 2 teaspoon cinnamon


Cardamom is one of the most costly spices in the world, as we previously said. Average Passionate home chefs like you and me may not be able to buy it as often as we would want.

Are you curious as to why?

To be honest, there is nothing out of the norm.

The main reason cardamom is more expensive than other spices is because of how it is harvested.

Cardamom is hand-harvested, which takes time and energy. Cardamom is more expensive than other traditional spices since it requires more effort, care, and time to harvest.

Even if you can afford it, you may not be able to get it right away since other foodies are anticipating its arrival.

Thus looking for decent black cardamom replacements may be your best bet.

Also see: Best Adobo Seasoning Replacement


Can you sub green cardamom for black cardamom?

Black cardamom should not be used in recipes that call for green cardamom because the two pods have very different flavor profiles. (Green may be substituted for black, but the distinctive smokiness will be lost.)

What is the difference between cardamom and black cardamom?

The primary distinction between these two cardamom varieties is how they are processed. Green cardamom pods are harvested before they reach maturity. Black cardamom pods are picked considerably later and dried over enormous flames.

What can I substitute for 10 cardamom pods?

4 teaspoon nutmeg. 12 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 4 teaspoon cinnamon. Alternatively, combine 12 teaspoon ground cardamom. OR – For a different taste, replace 1 for 10 whole cardamom pods.

What can I use instead of cardamom for biryani?

Nutmeg and cinnamon

To produce a foolproof ground cardamom alternative, use equal parts ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg. This spice combination may be used in lieu of cardamom in any dish at a 1:1 ratio. This combination works because it is warm and has a nutty and earthy taste.

What is similar to black cardamom?

Spices with the same scent and taste as ground cardamom, such as allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg, are the finest substitutes.

Do black and green cardamom taste the same?

Green cardamom has a sweet taste similar to eucalyptus, making it a popular spice for both savory and sweet foods, especially sweets. Black cardamom, on the other hand, has a smoky flavor and menthol notes, making it more commonly used in savory dishes (like stews and curries).

Is McCormick cardamom green or black?

Notes of wood. Product Specifications. Culinary Ground McCormick Cardamom is a fragrant spice with a sweet, citrus-like, floral flavor and a hint of green.

What is the purpose of black cardamom?

Black cardamom extracts may have anti-inflammatory properties. This spice may help with throat difficulties, pulmonary congestion, eyelid inflammation, tuberculosis of the lungs, and digestive issues.

What flavor is black cardamom?

What Do You Think It Tastes Like? When black cardamom is dried over an open fire, it has a strong smokey scent. Below that are tones of resin and camphor, as well as menthol, somewhat minty scents from green cardamom, which lend balance to a funky kick.

How much ground cardamom is 10 cardamom pods?

2 tablespoons of ground cardamom. Grinding your own cardamom seeds is a terrific way to ensure the freshest taste. As a general rule, there are around a dozen seeds each pod, and 10 pods will yield about 11 seeds.

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