Though green cardamom
is more aesthetic both in terms of looks as well as taste, its’ not so good looking cousin ‘Black Cardamom’ has a more daring character.
Black cardamom is dried over an open flame, imparting a strong, smoky flavor to the ‘warming spice’ that is also a major constituent in the spice blend garam masala. And because it has underlying notes of resin and camphor, black cardamom is rarely used in sweet delicacies. But that doesn’t make it any less than the green version.
Black cardamom is tailor-made for savory dishes that are long-cooked. The extended time frame gives the spice enough time to release all its essential oils. Mostly the black pods are used as whole but if you want more penetrating flavors, you could grind it fresh.
Black cardamom is very popular with Indian lentils and rice dishes as it adds a subtle, spicy note to otherwise bland food. The spice that is quite popular in many North Indian curries is usually deployed in combination with several other spices, both to mellow it down, and also because it has a knack of blending disparate flavors together.
One of the simplest yet fulfilling recipes with black cardamom is rice cooked with black pods in a pressure cooker. The cardamom lends a fragrant smoky touch to the rice making it a perfect accompaniment to any lentil. The smoky pods are also used as dry rubs and sauces for braised meats.
Black cardamom that was thought to be an aphrodisiac by the Arabs is also consumed in hot beverages like tea and coffee. One of the best tea recipes involving black pod is fennel and black cardamom combination.
Loaded with goodness of multiple vitamins and minerals like potassium, calcium, sodium, copper, iron, zinc and magnesium, black cardamom is not only a treat for your taste buds but delivers on the health front too.