There is a curry recipe I am following right now and it says i need black cardamon. I live in an area that is a little difficult to buy all the indian spices.

My local market only sell ground cardamon (I don't know what colour) and green cardamon.

If you are curious, I live in Hamilton, Ontario.

Also, just another cultural question. When an indian recipe lists "curd" as a ingredient in curry, is that just regular greek yogurt?

I should also mention that the recipe is


She doesn't actually state if it is green or black, but I assumed it was black.

  • 1
    The pictures definitely look like the curd is yogurt and the cardamom is green, not black.
    – user26430
    Aug 9, 2014 at 22:02

3 Answers 3


There is quite a difference in the tastes of black vs. green cardamom. In fact, they come from different but related species of plants.

Try asking your Indian grocery store for badi elaichi or badi welchi. It is the Hindi name for black cardamom.

Green cardamom has a minty flavor and is highly aromatic. It is also slightly sweet. It pairs well with spicy-sweet dishes as it enhances the taste. The ground cardamom in the store is probably green cardamom, because the powder is often used in recipes for masala chai (tea).

Black cardamon has a stronger flavor. It is more smoky (kind of like cinnamon - only kind of). It is best used in meat and savory dishes. So that's probably what the recipe uses.

As for Indian curd, also called dahi, it is closest to Greek yogurt in consistency and taste. However, dahi usually has a more tangy, sometimes sour taste. You may want to consider that while pairing up your dishes.

  • Where do you buy dahi…?
    – Lemon
    Aug 13, 2014 at 1:51
  • @sidht you can get it at most Indian grocery stores, if you have one near you.
    – metacubed
    Aug 13, 2014 at 4:24
  • In the video, is she using green or black cardamon? Are they interchangeable?
    – Lemon
    Aug 15, 2014 at 20:52
  • 1
    Is there powdered black cardamom sold anywhere anyway - it seems the parts you would care about are too oily to grind, and it is rather tasteless when dried out... Nov 13, 2017 at 0:17

The names of green and black cardamom are very misleading. In fact, they're not the same species of plant, nor are they closely related, nor do they have a very similar flavor (though they're both very nice).

Furthermore, the black cardamom is smoked over an open fire, that's what gives it the smokey flavor. Black cardamom is also very strong (and pretty expensive). I'm betting the cardamom powder is green...black cardamom is too expensive, they would've specified what it is.

That said, in a curry, or any recipe with a bunch of different spices, it's not a big deal if you skip, or switch, the ones you don't have. You can use green cardamom (pods), or nutmeg, or ginger, or all of them, instead. Just don't add too much...less than a quarter of cardamom or nutmeg, maybe even just an eighth, of the amount of pepper you're adding to the curry mix...because they're very strong.

  • 1
    Also, there seem to be varieties of the black stuff again - what is typically sold packaged by vietnamese brands is larger and less potent than what is usually sold by indian brands... Nov 13, 2017 at 0:14

She is using green cardamon in curry. And regarding curd/dahi you can use plain Greek or regular yoghourt with a splash of lime for sourness.

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