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Whole Cardamom in the Pods

  • j

I have some of these and a recipe that calls for ground cardamom. I plan to grind with a mortar and pestle, but am wondering does the pod need to be removed first or am I missing some flavour? It seems like the pod is pretty tough.


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  1. Remove the pod. The seed is where most of the flavor is. If the pods are reasonably fresh then you will probably need less than the recipe says.

    1. I forgot to ask, are they green, white, or black pods?

      1 Reply
      1. definitely crush the pods and remove the little black seeds - that is what you will be grinding. It will smell and taste just wonderful.

        the whole pods are most often used in cooking savory dishes


        3 Replies
        1. re: jen kalb

          And then...do you pluck out the cardamom pods or leave them in before eating? Do Indians eat the entire pod that has been cooked in a savory dish??? I have a recipe for Marc Bittman's Biryani and it doesn't say whether to remove the green cardamom pods before eating or not!

          1. re: Val

            No, you don't eat the pods.

            1. re: Val

              You serve them in the biriyani, but no one eats them. You just move the whole spices to the side as you eat.

          2. Remove the pods, grind the seeds, and dump the pods in a bucket (a pound is plenty) of white sugar. Cover, shake vigorously, leave for a week. Voilà, sugar that begs to be stirred into tea or coffee.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              Along those same lines, we dump a few green cardamom pods into our coffee (French press) before pouring in the boiling water. Let steep, plunge, then drink. Delicious.

            2. Thanks everyone for the great advice.

              1. Continuing on this topic, I have a related question:

                I am currently making my own curry powder
                working with whole green pods.

                My question is this: as I open the pods, some are light brown, almost tan, others are dark brown, almost black.

                Is it possible some of these seeds are fresher and should be used while others are dried out and should be tossed?

                And does this apply to the black pods as well as the green pods (I have both).

                2 Replies
                1. re: NYChristopher

                  Interesting. I've never seen that happen before. Usually, my pods are filled with black-ish seeds (often stuck together with a silvery membrane that I try to remove, not always successfully. I don't know. I'd say that if you take the seeds out and they smell quite pungent and aromatic, they're fine. If they're a little dull, maybe go get some new pods.

                  1. re: NYChristopher

                    I've had this happen (with green pods). I prefer the black seeds but I keep the brownish ones as well and just include them. The black seeds seem more aromatic to me than the brown/tan ones.