What flavor is cardamom?

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “What flavor is cardamom?” We will also discuss the types of cardamom and what it is used to cook. Moreover, we will also discuss the differences and similarities between cardamom and cinnamon. 

What flavor is cardamom?

The flavors of cardamom are quite intense, the words sweet, pungent, lemony, minty, peppery, and floral can be used to describe its taste and aroma. It is more lemony than fennel and less sweet than cumin. Its unique flavor profile makes it suitable for use in both sweet and savory dishes.

Although both whole cardamom pods and ground cardamom are products of the same plant, they do differ in their flavors and use. 

The tiny black seeds inside the cardamom pods contain the essential oils that give the spice its distinct flavors. When they turn into their ground form, they quickly lose their flavors. 

This means that they have a very less shelf life so for better utilization, you should purchase the cardamom powder in less quantity. 

Another thing you can do is buy whole cardamom pods and just grind the cardamom pods by yourself when it is needed. Be careful not to use too much of it, this may mess up your flavors.

Is cardamom sweet or savory?

Cardamom is a perfect spice for both sweet as well as savory dishes. Its unique and complex flavors make the perfect savory dish. It’s citrusy, minty, spicy, and herbal all at the same time, with a strong aroma as well. Due to this, it’s widely used in varieties of cuisines. 

You will find it in all sorts of food whether it’s rice, chicken, lentils or pastries, cakes, and cookies. They are also used in tea, coffee, and cocktails. 

What are the types of cardamom?

There are mainly two types of varieties of cardamom available in the market. They are:

Black cardamom (Amomum subulatum

  • This variety is native to Nepal, India, and Bhutan
  • It is a more savory spice with smokier flavors
  • Usually, whole pods are used in recipes

Green cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum

  •  This variety is native to India and Malaysia
  • It is used mostly in sweeter dishes.
  • This is the most common variety of cardamom.

Why is cardamom called the queen of spices?

Due to its numerous culinary and medicinal uses, it is named the queen of spices. With its complex and unique flavors, it has become a very important ingredient in making varieties of dishes. 

Due to its diuretic, antioxidant, and antiemetic properties, it is popular not just in the culinary world but is also used for different medicinal purposes. It is also the third most expensive spice in the world which makes it a very valuable spice. 

What is cardamom used to cook?

Cardamom is a versatile spice used in both sweet as well as savory dishes. Due to its sweet aroma and warm flavors, many people prefer to add it to their recipes. Some of the uses of cardamom in cooking are:

  • Cardamom is a must in curry dishes, soups, sauces, and gravies. It adds a bit of warmth and sweetness to your curries.
  • It is also very ideal for hot beverages like masala tea, coffee, and smoothies. It is also used to make cocktails.
  • Cardamom pairs well with chicken, red meat, lentils, salmon, and rice as well as with other warm spices like nutmeg and cinnamon.
  • It’s also used in marinades and spice mix.
  • It is used to make different bakery items like cakes, bread, pastries, cookies, bread pudding, and desserts.
  • It is also used in making different spice blends like curry powder and garam masala.
  • Cardamom also pairs well with Indian rice pudding also known as kheer and biryani.

Do cinnamon and cardamom taste the same?

Cinnamon and cardamom do have some similarities but they do not taste the same at all. Cinnamon brings more woody and citrusy flavors to the table but cardamom gives an earthy, minty, herbal, and floral aroma with a hint of lemon. 

Due to their warm and sweet nature, they are often paired together in sweet and savory dishes. Both cardamom and cinnamon are widely used in making different sweet delicacies like pastries, cookies, muffins, bread, smoothies, and icecreams, etc also, cardamom is much more valuable than cinnamon.

Because of its unique flavors, it will be hard to find a replacement for cardamom, but cinnamon is the closest to cardamom in terms of its warmth and hint of sweetness. 

For even better replication, you can blend equal portions of cinnamon and nutmeg. If you don’t have nutmeg, you can add ground ginger and ground cloves to the cinnamon.

It should be noted that they have different nutrient compositions. For detailed information, please click the link here.

Other FAQs about Spices that you may be interested in.

Can I use coriander seeds instead of powder?

When should I use coriander powder?

Is ground cardamom the same as coriander?

Does cumin have any health benefits?


In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “What flavor is cardamom?” We have also discussed the types of cardamom and what it is used to cook. Moreover, we will also discuss the differences and similarities between cardamom and cinnamon.