Cardamom Substitute for Different Recipes

Cardamom Substitute for Different Recipes

Are you searching for a cardamom substitute? Cardamom is that kind of herb which has more usage than you think. It’s a blessing if you have cardamom in your kitchen.

Cardamom has got a hot and lemon-like aroma which also has a smokey flavor. You can add cardamom to your favorite meat, fruit, cake, or coffee recipe. This is one of the essential herbs in garam masala.

Cardamom is not a cheap kind of herb because usually it is plucked manually. It’s not easy to grow a herb like this, and it needs proper care more than anything. That’s why cardamom is worth more than any other herb out there.

So what happens when you are desperate to add some cardamom in your recipe and you don’t have any? We tell you not to worry. They may have been helpful to make good recipes, but they are also replaceable.

If you take a good look in your kitchen, you will like what you see. There is plenty of cardamom substitute out there to help you with the problem. But first, you need to read this article.

In this article, we are going to talk about what could be a good cardamom substitute. We are not saying that finding a cardamom substitute is easy. But then again, where’s the fun in that?

Cardamom substitute in garam masala

Using cardamom substitutes in recipes

Cardamom produces a kind of aroma which is very hard to find a match. So for starters, we will teach you an easy lesson where your best shot is to mix cloves and cinnamon. We recommend using this particular cardamom substitute in seafood recipes and meat dishes.

If you want to add one teaspoon of cardamom to a recipe, replace it with one and a half teaspoons of those two herbs.

Your other good option is a mixture of grated nutmeg and ground cinnamon. But make sure to use a minimal amount of it as these two herbs have an intensity of their own. So choose your steps carefully.

Nutmeg and cinnamon are those kinds of herbs that are immensely famous as cardamom substitutes. Cinnamon alone could be an excellent cardamom substitute. But again, nutmeg is also a used substitute and not to mention cheap.

When you add these substitutes to your recipes, remember that you only need half of it. Then you can add more according to your taste later on.

Not just nutmeg and cinnamon, you have other options when it comes to looking for a cardamom substitute. Some say that they add peppercorns or allspice. But here, you need to add the same amount of allspice as with cardamom.

Here is a fun fact. If you don’t have anything, as we said before, you can use ginger. Coriander is a good cardamom substitute too. Keep on reading if you want to know more.

Cardamom substitute

Cardamom substitute in garam masala

Now we are going to discuss cardamom substitute in garam masala. You can find two kinds of cardamom in the market. One is black, and the other one is green.

Generally, in our homes and bakeries, we use green cardamoms. Though the black cardamoms also have several other uses.

You should know that this could be a problem if you want to buy whole or ground cardamom. That’s because this is a very costly herb.

You know that cardamom is a crucial ingredient of garam masala, which is an essential Indian spice. But you would be surprised to learn that garam masala doesn’t always contain cardamom. Because of its high price, they don’t always use it in garam masala.

So what is it for you to do in this scenario? Well, you can try and replace cardamom with some other options. You can mix allspice berries with cumin, and that will do.

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Cardamom substitute in chai

Cardamom is a herb with various uses in the Middle East, Arab, Sweden, and India. But not just in recipes, cardamom is also used in several drinks. Tea and coffee are some of those drinks.

Cardamom falls in the ginger category. Cardamom plants originated from India, though this plant is also found in Central America, Pakistan, Indonesia, Srilanka, Bangladesh, and Bhutan.

Green cardamom is one primarily found in the Middle East. It is what we know as true cardamom. Black cardamom is slightly different from this one.

Black cardamom gives you a somewhat cooling effect. Its scientific name is Amomum subulatum. The whole green cardamom is called Elettaria cardamom.

Another necessary cardamom type is what we know as Thai cardamom. It falls in the category of green cardamom, but it’s not the same. Garbanzo beans are what comes to our minds when we see Thai cardamom.

Thai cardamom has its uses. It is an essential component of Chinese medicine and is also used in Chinese recipes. It smells slightly different too.

Another one is called white cardamom. It grows in tropical countries like Malaysia. But the aroma of white cardamom is not as strong as the black or green ones.

How tea lovers can make their beverage tastier?

In the southern part of Asia, or the subcontinent, drinking tea is a habit. But this tea could be even tastier when you add a bit of cardamom to your chai. But what if you don’t have any?

A good cardamom substitute in chai is not one thing. You can mix black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice in place of cardamom. This will give you the same taste.

Also, not to mention, your tea will turn out as masala chai. There’s nothing in the world like a good masala tea whenever it is prepared with the proper ingredients. But again, be careful with the amount of cardamom you are using in your chai.

Cardamom powder

Cardamom powder is an Indian herb that is quite common in several authentic recipes. Whether it is ice cream, spicy milk, or any other dessert, adding cardamom powder brings a unique flavor. Tea and coffee taste different whenever a sprinkle of this spice is added.

You can buy readymade cardamom powder from the market, or you can make it yourself. For this, you need to take some cardamom pods and then knap them. You will see the cardamom seeds in there and dispel them.

Put it into a mixer grinder, and they will be fine. You can leave the skins as it is or remove them.

You want to use the green cardamoms whenever you wish to make cardamom powder for your home recipes. That’s because they have the perfect taste.

When you buy packaged cardamom powder, make sure to buy a well-sealed one. Don’t forget to look at the expiry date before opening the package.

Usage of cardamom powder

Most Indians use elaichi powder or cardamom powder whenever making some desserts. In traditional Indian festivals, they make sweets where there is plenty of cardamom powder. Here are some sweet recipes which are incomplete without this particular herb.

Bason Ladoo

This is one of the most famous Indian sweet dishes. It has different names, but this one is famous. This particular dish is immensely renowned across India.

Rice kheer

Several recipes can be prepared using kheer and cardamom powder, and they all are delicious. Rice kheer is that kind of recipe popular on all sorts of occasions like marriage ceremonies, religious ceremonies, or other festivals.

Malai kulfi

There are several types of kulfi out there. But the authentic one is what we know as malai kulfi. Its strong aroma and cream-like texture are outstanding. All credit goes to the condensed milk mixed with cardamom powder.


This dish is especially from Gujarat and is also known as Dalia Sheera. It is made of wheat and sugar. Cardamom powder is generally mixed with it so that it enhances its aroma.

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The Gujarati people fry it using ghee, and the color gets brownish.

Malai peda

Malai peda will feel so sweet to your tongue when you get a chance to taste it. It is also a well-known sweet dish in India. Preparing it well is a long and slow process.

You need to mix cardamom and saffron with milk to prepare this particular sweet recipe. It is truly a mouthwatering sweet dish that you cannot refuse.


All it takes is curd or dahi to make a savory shrikhand which is quite an easy recipe. You can save the leftover curd, and you don’t need to do any extra preparation. Shrikhand is also popular among Indian families.

Cardamom powder is healthy

Cardamom powder not only enhances the taste of your daily recipes but also has something good to do with your overall health. It helps to digest certain foods and cures gastrointestinal problems.

If there’s something wrong with your lungs, cardamom powder can help you. Even it improves the condition of asthma and bronchitis patients.

Cardamom powder is also good for the stomach. It fights with acidity and helps you get through it.

Here’s a remedy for you. It enhances appetite and cures foul breathing problems. If suddenly your hiccups don’t stop or continue for some time, add some cardamoms with mint in boiling water, and it will provide you relief.

Ground cardamom

As we already know, cardamom is a costly product. But what you don’t know is that cardamom is the third most expensive herb in the world. Vanilla and saffron are the second and third most costly herbs.

Green cardamom is the mainly used one. In Guatemala, they produce the most considerable amount of green cardamom.

Inside a single cardamom pod, there are about fifteen to twenty seeds. These are what we know as cardamom herbs. This is called ground cardamom, and the grinded form is called cardamom powder.

The seeds of ground cardamom have an intense flavor, and you should use them in tiny amounts. If you keep it for a long time after buying it, it may lose its flavor. So we advise you to buy a small amount so that there is no leftover.

In India, cardamom powder is used in sweet dishes, desserts. The Indian spice garam masala is also made out of it. In tea and coffee, it brings a kind of added flavor.

Scandinavian countries use it to prepare gingerbread, fruit soups, baked apples, and fruit compotes. It can also be seen in Swedish recipes like meatballs, Pulla and Julekake.

With the help of ground cardamom, you can make several other spices. Curry powder, Tea Masala, Mixed Spice and various other subcontinental spices are there, and the credit goes to our very own ground cardamom.

Just not in the southern part of Asia; in Africa, too, we have found its instances. In East Africa, they have these recipes called Mahamri and Mandazi. The main ingredient of both of these dishes is ground cardamom.

How to use cardamom the right way?

If you want to get the original and traditional taste of cardamom in your home-cooked recipes, you must use whole or ground cardamom. That’s because when this spice remains as a whole, it is enriched with authentic flavor. So when you use it directly in your recipe, the whole taste takes an u-turn.

You can smash the cardamom seeds by using a coffee grinder. You can use whatever you are comfortable with. After making the final grinding, you need to store it properly for later usage.

But here you have to be more careful. Don’t use that kind of cardamom powder which is here for too much time. Always use the fresh ones, and this will give you the ultimate good taste.

Cardamom substitute

Final Thoughts

So, now you know all the necessary details you need about a cardamom substitute. From now on, you should have no problem at all if you run out of cardamom in your kitchen. Just decide carefully which substitute is best for the particular dish you are preparing, and then you are good to go.

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