Black Cardamom is a distant relative of green cardamom and shares some of the same flavor notes, such as the cool mint element. The difference is that because Black Cardamom is dried over an open fire, it also has a powerful smoky taste.
Along with the smokiness, Black Cardamom also has notes of resin and camphor, and greater overall intensity. Although the flavors are similar, they can have very different culinary uses.
Black Cardamom is best suited to slow cooked dishes. Slow cooking gives it the time, heat, and moisture it needs to release it’s flavorful oils. Because the flavor is strong, it pairs well with other strong flavors, like hot chili peppers.
Black Cardamom can be used either whole or by grinding the pods. It is most commonly used in Indian and Chinese cooking, and is a major component of garam masala. With that said, it also works well in many other cuisines and in other blends, especially barbecue dry rubs.
Black Cardamom is known by many names, including greater cardamom, Bengal cardamom, hill cardamom, Indian cardamom, Nepal cardamom, winged cardamom, and brown cardamom