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I have some green cardamom and would like to use it in dishes such as Indian-style rice pudding. Can it be used in place of the standard ground cardamom bought in an American grocery store?

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If by green you mean green cardamom pods, the short answer is yes. You will have to remove the outer green shell and grind the black seeds inside. The black powder available in stores is made from the same black seeds. It is always preferable to grind cardamom seeds fresh because ground cardamom tends to lose flavor with time.

I get an acceptable result if I grind the seeds with a mortar and pestle.

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  • sometimes I just lightly crush the green pods and can then pour out the seeds that are inside.
    – Manako
    Sep 27, 2011 at 15:23
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    Just a side note: What is commonly referred to as "black cardamom" is actually a different variety of cardamom than the green, with black hairy pods. The black pods are bigger than the green variety and they are usually dried over an open fire. Black cardamom has an earthy, smoky flavour as opposed to the more aromatic green variety and is mostly used whole in curries and such. @user7538: You refer to the pre-ground cardamom as "black cardamom", but it is actually green cardamom, just like Avinash explained in her answer. More on wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_cardamom Sep 28, 2011 at 8:24
  • @HenrikSöderlund: I'm a "he" :-) Sep 28, 2011 at 14:37
  • :D Sorry about that, man. Sep 28, 2011 at 14:45
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There is a caveat: Some green cardamom powders have a strong greenish colouring effect that can be avoided by using the pods cracked but whole.

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