What options are there to replace Green Cardamom Pods when making a vegan Biriyani.

The reason for this substitution is that purely I don't have any, and won't be going to a store that stocks them soon as they are not a common product in this area.

  • I have no experience with it, and I don’t know what the conversion is for whole pods, but Food Subs recommends cinnamon + nutmeg: foodsubs.com/ingredients/cardamom
    – Joe
    Jan 28, 2023 at 18:19

1 Answer 1


Biriyani spicing is quite flexible, so unless what you're making is specifically "cardamom biriyani", you can swap spices as you need to. Here's some options:

  1. Add ground cardamom: if you have ground cardamom, add 1 tsp for every 6-8 pods you don't have. Ideally, you want to add this later in the cooking process than you would have added the pods, like in the final assembly before sealing the pot. Alternately, if the recipe already includes garam masala, double the amount; garam masala is about 1/2 cardamom.
  2. Just Skip It: If the recipe already has a whole bunch of whole spices, such as whole cloves, pieces of cinnamon bark, whole cumin, etc., you can just leave the cardamom pods out and make the rest of the recipe as normal.
  3. Increase/add other whole spices: if the recipe does not have many other whole spices, add some. Good ones to add or increase would include cinnamon bark, whole cloves, whole allspice berries, mace blades, and large shavings from whole nutmegs.
  4. Combination: add a little ground cardamom and a few other whole spices.

For future note, whole cardamom pods last for years in storage, so when you do get out to buy some, get a whole jar for long-term use.

  • I have pretty much everything that you suggest in the larder, it's good to know that I have a wide range of options. Jan 28, 2023 at 19:56
  • 1
    Yah, I find it's important to remember that real Indian home cooks do not have recipes with measurements, and just add what they have on hand.
    – FuzzyChef
    Jan 28, 2023 at 19:59

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