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The 12 Best Cardamom Substitutes (Must Have!)

Cardamom is a popular spice in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking. If you run out of cardamom and need some for a recipe, you can find the best Cardamom Substitutes in the list below to avoid having to run to the store.

This rich, aromatic spice is frequently used to flavor basmati rice or mixed with other seasonings to prepare meat for cooking. Cardamom is more adaptable than most spices, and it can be used in desserts, pastries, and coffees.

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This spice has been used since ancient times, with the Babylonians documenting its medicinal benefits and distinct flavor.

Cardamom seeds are said to have been chewed by the ancient Egyptians to clean their teeth. This flavorful spice is now most commonly used in the preparation of delectable sweet and savory dishes.

Best Cardamom Substitute
Best Cardamom Substitute

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WHAT IS CARDAMOM?

Cardamom is a spice derived from the seeds of a ginger-related plant. It is one of the world’s oldest spices and is native to India and the Middle East, though it is now grown in many countries.

Cardamom comes in two varieties: black and green. Despite the fact that they come from the same plant, green cardamom is harvested before it matures. After that, the green seeds are cured.

When black cardamom reaches maturity, the seeds are dried, traditionally over a fire pit. Green cardamom is highly valued and far more expensive than black cardamom, which is less expensive and more widely available.

Alternative video: Best Cardamom Substitute

CARDAMOM PODS VS CARDAMOM POWDER

Cardamom pods and cardamom powder can be used interchangeably in most recipes. When you buy the pods, you’ll have to crack them open to get to the seeds inside. The seeds of cardamom powder have already been extracted and ground into a fine powder.

WHAT DOES CARDAMOM TASTE LIKE?

Cardamom Substitute
Cardamom Substitute

Cardamom has a distinct, complex flavor that varies depending on the variety of cardamom used. Green cardamom has a zesty flavor similar to citrus fruits such as lemons or limes.

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Dishes with black cardamom have a smoky, slightly minty flavor that is similar to anise. Because both varieties are extremely potent, a little goes a long way.

CARDAMOM SUBSTITUTE

Although no single spice can completely replace the distinct and complex flavors of cardamom, some of them come close.

The best part is that you can use any of the spices listed here or combine them to create a unique flavor, such as cardamom.

1. CINNAMON

Cinnamon
Cinnamon

Cinnamon is an aromatic condiment derived from the bark of several Cinnamomum species of trees. This spice is used in a variety of foods and recipes all over the world.

2. CORIANDER SEEDS

Coriander Seeds
Coriander Seeds

Coriander can refer to both the seeds and the leaves of the coriander plant, both of which are useful in cooking and as spices. However, the seeds of the coriander plant are mentioned here, which have a different taste and application than the coriander leaves.

3. CLOVES

Cloves
Cloves

Clove is a flavorful spice derived from an aromatic plant that is grown for its culinary value. Clove dried flower buds are aromatic and spicy, and they are harvested when they are close to maturity; they are dried and used to season dishes.

4. NUTMEG

Nutmeg
NUtmeg

The spice nutmeg is a member of the Myristica genus. Nutmeg and cardamom have many similarities; both have complex flavors that elevate any dish in which they are used. This spice has a slight sweetness to it, similar to cardamom.

5. ALL SPICE

All Spice
All Spice

Allspice is a dried, unripe berry from the Pimenta Dioica tree. It’s also referred to as myrtle pepper and Jamaican pepper. Allspice is so named because it combines flavors from various spices such as cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg.

6. CLOVES AND CINNAMON

Cloves and Cinnamon
Cloves and Cinnamon

If you want to replicate the perfect cardamom flavor, you can use a mixture of cloves and cinnamon if you have both ingredients on hand. When cloves and cinnamon are combined, they make an excellent flavor combination.

7. GINGER

Ginger
Ginger

Ginger spice comes from the root of the ginger flowering plant. It is used to season and flavor dishes in a variety of cuisines. Ginger has a hot, spicy, pungent flavor with a fruity undertone.

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8. CINNAMON AND GINGER

Ginger and Cinnamon
Ginger and Cinnamon

When ginger and cinnamon are combined, they produce a flavor that is similar to cardamom. Ginger has the same spicy and fruity undertones as cardamom. Cinnamon, on the other hand, imparts the same warm, earthy flavors as cardamom.

9. CINNAMON AND NUTMEG

Cinnamon and Nutmeg
Cinnamon and Nutmeg

Combining these two spices may yield the best and closest substitute for cardamom. Cinnamon and nutmeg have complex flavors, as does cardamom, which they are attempting to replace. Cinnamon can be used as a stand-in for cardamom.

10. CUMIN

Cumin
Cumin

Cumin has the same properties as cardamom seeds in that it has a nutty flavor and is spicy. Cumin is derived from the seeds of the leafy herb plant Cuminum cyminum, which belongs to the parsley family. These seeds are dried and ground into powder, which is commonly used to season and flavor foods.

11. CLOVES AND NUTMEG

Cinnamon and Nutmeg
Cinnamon and Nutmeg

Clove is an aromatic spice with a strong taste and aroma, as well as a sweet and slightly bitter flavor. Although it has a strong aroma, clove is warm and flavorful on the palate, making it an excellent substitute for cardamom.

12. CUMIN AND CORIANDER

Cumin and Coriander
Cumin and Coriander

Cumin and coriander are two spices that work well together. It’s not uncommon to find cumin in recipes with coriander, so it’s no surprise that they’re combined here. Coriander provides the citrusy and nutty flavors found in cardamom in this combination.

IS CORIANDER THE SAME AS CARDAMOM?

No, these are two distinct and unrelated plants. Coriander is a herb that looks similar to parsley, whereas cardamom is a pod filled with seeds.

Coriander leaves, also known as cilantro, are commonly used in Mexican and Thai dishes, as well as as a garnish for soups.

IS CARDAMOM SIMILAR TO CLOVES?

Many similarities exist between cardamom and cloves. Both spices are intense and woody, and if used excessively, can be slightly bitter. Though the flavors are similar, their appearances are vastly different.

Cloves are small spikes that range in color from reddish-brown to black. Cardamom grows in the form of green or black pods containing tiny seeds.

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WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NUTMEG AND CARDAMOM?

Nutmeg is derived from an evergreen tree, whereas cardamom is derived from a herb. The fruit of the nutmeg tree is harvested and the seed is extracted. The seed is frequently encased in a reddish lacy covering.

After that, the seed can be ground or grated into a powder. The seeds in cardamom pods are much smaller than those in nutmeg pods.

Cardamom Substitute
Cardamom Substitutes

WHAT’S THE BEST SUBSTITUTE FOR BLACK CARDAMOM?

A combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice is the best substitute for cardamom. These three spices combine to closely mimic the complex flavors of black cardamom pods. Make a blend of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice that can be used in a variety of dishes.

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cardamom substitute

Cardamom Substitutes


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  • Author: Hazel Roddy
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 minutes
  • Yield: 2 teaspoon 1x

Description

Cardamom is a common spice in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking. If you run out of cardamom and need some for a dish, you may find the best Cardamom Substitutes in the list below to save having to run to the shop.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Combine cinnamon and nutmeg in a small mixing dish.
  2. Use immediately as a substitution for Cardamom or store in an airtight container.
  • Category: Condiment
  • Cuisine: Indian

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 teaspoon
  • Calories: 272kcal
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Sodium: 288mg
  • Fat: 9g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Carbohydrates: 46g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 31mg

Keywords: cardamom substitute, easy cardamom substitute, cardamom spice, condiment

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you skip cardamom in a recipe?

Anderson recommends combining equal amounts of cinnamon and ginger to mimic the flavor of cardamom: “Cardamom has a complex flavor, so it’s hard to create an exact match, but combining equal amounts of cinnamon and ginger will mimic that flavor.” If a recipe calls for two teaspoons of ground cardamom, simply combine one.

What can you substitute cardamom pods for?

Cinnamon and nutmeg are both widely used as cardamom substitutes. Although cinnamon is the more popular of the two as a standalone cardamom substitute, nutmeg is still a popular and relatively inexpensive alternative.

Can cumin be substituted for cardamom?

In spicy dishes like curries and meat recipes, an equal mixture of cumin and coriander works well as a substitute for cardamom. All three are frequently used in Indian dishes, and if you run out of cardamom, you can easily replace it with a little more cumin and coriander.

More alternative cardamom substitute recipes to try:

Cardamom Substitute in Baking

Cardamom Substitute in Baking
Cardamom Substitute in Baking

Are you out of cardamom, or are you hesitant to buy it because of the price? While cardamom has its own distinct flavor and scent, there are other spices that can be used in its place. Either of these options should work well with the other tastes in the dish you’re making.

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Cardamom Substitute in Curry

Cardamom Substitute in Curry
Cardamom Substitute in Curry

Cardamom has a rich flavor that is fruity, nutty, aromatic, woody, and lemony all at once. This implies it’s incredibly distinct and difficult to imitate! If you’re in a pinch or want to try something new, you have options! Even better, you probably already have most of the ingredients in your spice cabinet.

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