Black Cardamom- Health Benefits, Uses and Important Facts

Black Cardamom- Health Benefits, Uses and Important Facts

The famous Indian spice known as badi elaichi or kali elaichi is utilised in many of the cuisine's iconic dishes. It comes in the shape of seed pods that range in colour from dark brown to black and have a smoky flavour as a result of the way they are dried. Cardamom is the third-most costly spice in the world and is used for its strong, powerful flavour. Only vanilla and saffron are more expensive per unit weight. The seeds and pods may be found all year round and are both used in cooking.


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What is Black Cardamom?

The scientific name for black cardamom is Amomum subulatum. On a herbaceous plant from the Zingiberaceae (ginger) family, it develops in pods. The pods are about an inch long, with a thick, wrinkled, dry exterior that contains tiny, sticky, dark-colored seeds. Black cardamom has a strong flavour of citrus and eucalyptus and a strong fragrance.


Amomum is a genus with several species that are found across the hilly region from the Himalayas to Southern China. Eastern Nepal, India, and Bhutan are the principal producing areas. India produces more than half of the world's crop.


Varieties of Black Cardamom:


Black cardamom comes in at least two different species: amomum subulatum and amomum tsao-ko. Amomum subulatum, the black cardamom used in Indian food, is a smaller variety than the amomum tsao-ko variety, the black cardamom used in Chinese cooking.


In addition, there is an African species known as Afra­momum that may be found in Madagascar, Somalia, and Cameroon, as well as another spicy kind from West Africa known as grains of paradise, which has a similar flavour and occasionally shows up on the Western market.


Black Cardamom Vs Green Cardamom


Cardamom comes in two primary varieties: black and green. Black cardamom pods are gathered much later and subsequently dried over a fire, whereas green cardamom pods are harvested early from the Elettaria cardamomum plant. Black and green cardamom pods have quite different flavour characteristics, therefore if a recipe calls for green cardamom, black cardamom should not be used. Black can be substituted with green, however the distinctive smokiness won't be there. While black cardamom adds a punch to recipes, green cardamom adds a delicate, subtle flavour. Due to its potent smoky and menthol qualities, black cardamom is rarely used in sweet recipes, unlike green cardamom, which is a well-liked Scandinavian ingredient.


It is advised to separate the seeds from the pods and grind the green cardamom before using it in recipes. It is better to add the black cardamom pods intact to a dish and remove them just before serving.


What does it taste like?


A distinctive smokey flavour and scent are produced when black cardamom is dried over an open flame. Along with menthol, this spice also features undertones of resin, camphor, and a mildly minty scent that helps to balance the otherwise nasty flavour. Black cardamom, along with black pepper, cloves, and chilies, is classified as a "warming" spice because of these potent, overpowering undertones.


Black cardamom in cooking:

The black cardamom pods are often used whole and are usually always cooked in a little oil to bring out all of the tastes and aromas. The pods can be partially smashed before added to a dish to expose the seed. If a recipe asks for black cardamom powder, remove and discard the peel before using the seeds to crush in a dry, clean coffee grinder. To get rid of the outer peel, you may alternatively crush the entire pod and drain it through a colander.


The black cardamom pods benefit from being cooked for extended periods of time in wet heat and go well with other spices with powerful flavours. When using ground spice, exercise caution because a little bit goes a long way.



Other names of Black Cardamom


  • English – Black Cardamom, Brown Cardamom
  • Black Cardamom in Hindi – Badi Elaichi, Kali Elaichi, Moti Elaichi
  • Black Cardamom in Spanish – Cardamomo negro
  • Black Cardamom in German –  Schwarzer Kardamom
  •  Black Cardamom in French – Cardamome noire


Health benefits of black cardamom:


To Promote Digestive Health:

Consuming black cardamom aids in the treatment of a number of digestive issues as well as the prevention of stomach ulcers. It also maintains correct management of the stomach's acids. Additionally, it enhances your appetite and supports heart health. Additionally, it prevents problems with gas and bloating.


Dental care:

The powerful aroma can aid in the treatment of foul breath issues. Additionally, it can aid in the recovery of gum and tooth infections.


Respiratory comfort:

The use of black cardamom can be quite beneficial for those with asthma, congestion, or other respiratory issues. As it normalises the flow of mucus through the respiratory system, it can help with the symptoms and prevent you from getting a cough, cold, or sore throat.


Cardiovascular fitness:

Consuming black cardamom on a regular basis promotes heart health. Additionally, it lessens the likelihood of blood clots and aids in controlling our blood pressure. In the summer, the spice serves as a protection by preventing heat exhaustion in humans.


Benefits skin:

The antibacterial and antioxidant properties of black cardamom are abundant. In addition, it is high in vitamin C, which helps to promote blood circulation and maintain our system clear of toxins.


Better hair:

Due to its anti-oxidative qualities and antiseptic and antibacterial capabilities, it aids in avoiding scalp infections and offers healthy nourishment to the hair.


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