Black Cardomom (also known as brown cardamom), another member of the ginger family is used in Indian, Chinese and Middle Eastern cooking. You can purchase black cardamom in whole brownish-woolly looking pods, or seeds, or ground. The whole pods can be fried in ghee or oil to release the flavor which is hot and peppery and slightly medicinal. The seeds can also be removed from the pod and ground.
Use black cardamon to flavor biryanis, pulaos and meat curries, but never in sweet dishes.
You can steep the pods in hot water and drink like tea for digestive disorders.
This ingredient is hard to find in mainstream grocery stores. Look for it in Indian grocery stores. You can find it online at Amazon.com: Cardamom Whole / Black Cardamom Pods