Though they say there are three kinds of cardamoms-Green, Black and the White but factually speaking there are only two varieties. White cardamom is actually a bleached version of the green one and is used for baking purpose and preparing cream-based desserts.
When it comes to choosing between the two variants, the rules are same for using any other two spices in your kitchen shelf. The choice of spice should depend on what flavor, aroma and culinary notes you want to add to your dish. While green cardamom has a subtle, sweet-spicy flavor that can add loads of fragrance to your dish, black cardamom gives an upfront smoky and intense flavor to the dish.
The flavor guide to both the cardamoms tells us that owing to its strong, camphor like flavor, black cardamom is preferred mainly in savory dishes and rarely used in desserts. The spice is a major hit with meat stews, curries and soups. It’s also one of the chief ingredients in Indian spice mix like garam masala.
Green cardamom’s enticing, warm notes on the other hand make it a culinary delight across cuisines. This ‘queen of spices’ is as popular with desserts as it is with savory dishes. In fact green cardamom is considered one of the most effective mouth freshener that can help you get rid of bad breath.
But this doesn’t mean that the green pods are superior to black ones. The two have their own unique flavors which can’t be replaced. If we can’t substitute green cardamom with black one for cardamom cake, we cannot think of having our plain rice cooked with green cardamom instead of black.