Cardamom is the common name for certain plant species native to India and southeastern Asia as well as the name for their aromatic pods (cardamom pods) and cardamom seeds The true cardamom has large leaves and white flowers with blue stripes and yellow borders and grows to about 3 m (about 10 ft) in height. The fruit is a small capsule with 8 to 16 brown seeds. Both the whole pods and the seeds are used as a spice.
Cardamom pods are typically toasted and ground before adding to a recipe. Our favorite Curry Chicken recipe uses whole cardamon pods.
If you don't have cardamon pods you can use one of these substitutes:
metric conversions →
Cardamon is commonly used in Indian cooking including curries, rice and meat dishes. Usually the cardamon pods are cooked in a little bit of oil to extract the flavor. Many curry recipes recommend grinding the pods along with other ingredients to make a powder mixture.
Cardamon seeds are used in breads and other sweet recipes.