What Are The Substitutes For Cardamom And Its Benefits?

Yashasvi SaxenaAug 30 . 7 min read

You know what, I have a superpower. I can read your minds!

Don’t trust me? Let me prove it. Moments ago, you were going to cook, but your shelf lacks cardamom, isn’t it? So, you’re here looking for a substitute for Cardamom! (I told you I can read minds, wink).

No worries, fam! I will rescue your supper. Scroll down, thank me later, xoxo.

About Cardamom Spice

The Cardamom spice originates from the genera Elettaria and Amomum, both native to the Indian subcontinent and Indonesia. This spice is cultivated mainly in Malaysia, Tanzania, and Guatemala. 

Cardamom is basically of two types based on the difference in its genes.

  1. The first is from the genus Elettaria. The cardamom from this genus is light green and has small pods. 
  2. The second is from the genus Amomum. This generates pods that are black in color and bigger in size.

The pods are thin, skin-type peels, that hold black seeds on the inside. The seeds are the ultimate bombs of flavors. But, this doesn’t mean that the peels are any less in flavor. You can often find them in Indian Teas. 

The first references of Cardamom are found in Ancient Ayurvedic and Sumer texts. 

Cardamom Taste

Cardamom tastes like a piney, menthol-flavored, fruity spice. It also resembles fennel seeds a bit. With hints of clove and citrus, it also resembles licorice to some extent.

Cardamom Uses And Benefits

 Cardamom is not just a spice. It is a world of refreshing and chilly boons that our angles decided to bestow upon us. Its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties give rise to numerous ways in which it can be incorporated into the wellness and medical industry. It consists of phytochemicals, the compounds responsible for these exquisite benefits of cardamom. 

The essence of cardamom is hidden in the essential oils residing in its core. Chemically, these oils are composed of 45% 𝛼-terpineol, 27% myrcene, 6% menthone, and 8% limonene. Other compounds found in the oil are heptane, cibenene, etc.

Wooh! Enough of this chemistry lecture. Let’s get to the point and look at what all dimensions have cardamom expanded so far! (Ahaaa! My favorite task, a List.)

  1. Want a post-surgery nausea-relieving lotion? Crush ginger and cardamon together. Mix them with some tarragon essential oil and apply directly to your neck. Thank me later!
  2. Now, let us talk about gastric problems. Is your poop reluctant to make a pop and produce a puddle in your pooping pot? ( Yes, I love poop puns. Wink.) I such a case, you might want to consume some cardamom, either in a tea, or a water-cardamom concoction. If you’re an Asian, go to your grandma, she knows it all!
  3. Also, anything related to your gut- be it gas, loss of appetite, liver problems, or something to do with your gallbladder, cardamom should be your go-to spice, always.
  4. If you have a sore throat or even a headache, you can always hop onto a cup of Indian tea, that surely contains freshly crushed ginger and cardamom, along with spices like cloves and black pepper. It will not only soothe your throat but also give peace to your soul. That cup of tea can be considered as ‘Sips of Nirvana!’
  5. Due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it reduces the risk of infections drastically. So, including one or two cardamom pods in your diet chart won’t hurt you at all.
  6. Also, if you’re suffering from urinary problems or infections, then do look up for cardamom. It can relieve you in ways you never know!
  7. How can we forget its impeccable flavor? Cardamom is being used for thousands of years in various Asian cuisines. Being an Indian, if I know my mother is crushing cardamom for a recipe, then that day is a Feast. 
  8. For all the bakers and sweet tooths, cardamom has this weird property of enhancing the flavor of any dessert or sweet. So, next time when you bake and wanna cut down on sugar, just add a pinch of crushed cardamom seeds.

Cardamom Substitute

Whenever we talk of Cardamom substitution, there are some key factors about the flavor that needs to be kept in mind. Cardamom has a tang that’s unique and too complex to be mimicked. But we’re no fewer foodies! Keep calm and trust us for your next recipes. Our recommendations will never disappoint you. So, let us focus our pupils on this spicy list for the substitute for cardamom, coming up right away!


Ginger-Cinnamon Mi

Now, cardamom pod substitution might not look so easy at the moment, but what if I tell you it’s not that cumbersome as it seems? I bet this will be like music to your note-void ears!

So is this hack!

Mix equal proportions of ginger and cinnamon together. If the wetness of freshly grated ginger bothers you, then you can also use ginger powder to make the process more smooth and efficient. 

Pro Tip: Do taste the blend before you sprinkle it.

No Spice Better Than Allspice

Allspice is a wonder in itself. The flavor of allspice is a diverse blend with notes of clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg that inculcate a peppery warmness into it. So, when your recipe requires cardamom and your Spice shelf says “Not Today”, you can turn the tables by getting your hands on Allspice. This turns out to be an awesome substitute for Cardamom. Use it in the same amount as prescribed for Cardamom in the recipe.

Cloves To The Rescue

A substitute for cardamom with the same undertones as the original spice, won’t you want it? Of course, you do! So, I’ll cut the crap come to the point. 

Reach out to your spice drawer. Grab cloves and a stick of cinnamon. Now grind them separately. Mix these spices in equal proportions. And, tada! Your minty-sweet substitute for cardamom is ready.

The Cumin-Coriander Complex

Out of all the members in this list, this one seemed the most bizarre to me. (Idk why, personal reasons maybe). Anyways, let us see how this one works. 

You’re required to take coriander seeds and some cumin. Now, grind these separately. The mixing ratio is - 1 part of cumin for 2 parts of coriander. Do check the flavor of this substitute for cardamom before using it to prevent future disasters.

Nutmeg With Cinnamon (Yet Again)

When talking about a substitute for cardamom, we can’t seem to get rid of cinnamon. Maybe because of its woody-sweet tones, who knows. 

Okay, talking of this blend, take a cinnamon stick and a nutmeg sphere. Grate both of these spices separately. Now mix equal parts of the grated spices and use this blend in place of the same amount of cardamom.

A Spicy Cocktail

We’ve reached the bottom of this list, so let’s talk about an ultimate and universal substitute for cardamom. Heard of Apple Pie Spice? If not, you must reach out to them in your supermarket as this is a blend of all the spices that could ever substitute cardamom.

Products Carrying Cardamom Essence

Due to its diversified flavor, cardamom essence is used in a wide variety of products. Be it cream-filled cookies, drinks, perfumes, cardamom-flavored milk- any place you can think of that is either meant to smell or taste. Paradise!

I hope you’ll never fall short of cardamom again. Until next time, fam!

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