What is the Best Cardamom Substitute? – A List of Substitutes for Cardamom You Can Try in Recipes

Best Substitute for Cardamom Spice: Are you a chai lover? Do you love desserts with cardamom flavor? Want to know what are the best cardamom substitutes that give the same flavorful spice and aroma in the recipe? Digging deep into this best cardamom alternative guide will help you learn what a cardamom pod is, and how cardamom substitutes work in savory dishes and sweet dishes alike.

Do check the difference between cardamom pods, ground cardamom, black cardamom, and green cardamom along with the best cardamom substitute for chai, garam masala mix, savory recipes, sweet recipes, baked goods, middle eastern Indian cuisine, etc. Let’s see what is a substitute for cardamom along with different types of cardamom, what can you substitute for cardamom powder?

Cardamom Substitute

Best Cardamom Spice Substitutes You Can Try In Sweet & Savory Dishes (Single Spices & Mixtures)

Cardamom is related to the turmeric and ginger family so it has a sharp and earthy flavor that matches the flavors of various spices like ginger, cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg, apple pie spice, etc. So, you can substitute other spices that call for cardamom in the recipe when you don’t have them in your spice cabinet.

Wondering what are the best substitutes for cardamom? Don’t fret, here we are going to list out and explain the good cardamom substitute in single spices or in a spice mixture. All the substitutes of cardamom are very strong in their flavor than cardamom so make sure to follow the correct amounts or less than the cardamom amount that your recipe calls for and enjoy the taste of the spice.

Single Spices

  • Cinnamon
  • Allspice
  • Cloves
  • Apple Pie Spice or Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Coriander
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Peppercorns


  • Cinnamon and Nutmeg
  • Ground Cloves and Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg and Cloves
  • Cumin and Coriander
  • Cinnamon and Ginger

About Best Single Spice Cardamom Substitutes

1. Cinnamon:

The first best standalone cardamom substitute is cinnamon sticks & ground cinnamon due to its slightly sweet and citrusy with traces of spice, and also warm. If you want to replace cardamom with cinnamon directly then take an equal amount of ground cinnamon for ground cardamom means 1 tsp of ground cardamom is equivalent to 1 tsp of ground cinnamon.

2. Nutmeg:

One more standalone cardamom substitute after cinnamon is nutmeg. The taste of the nutmeg is a little sweet and warm, with a mite of woody & nutty flavor. It is not the same spice as cardamom but results in the same flavor in the dishes. So, substituting one tsp of ground nutmeg for one tsp of ground cardamom means a 1:1 ratio is the correct replacement.

3. Allspice:

Allspice is a sharp, fragrant, and fruity spice that has a taste like cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, and nutmeg. It is slightly less spice than cardamom but absolutely works great as a substitute for cardamom in recipes. Add more quantity of allspice that matches the same flavor of cardamom or else you can add other spices with allspice and replace cardamom in the dish.

The basic rule of substitution is a 1:1 ratio means 1 tsp of ground cardamom is equal to 1 tsp of ground allspice. To get a complex flavor to allspice substitute, blend half a teaspoon or 1/4 tsp of other recommended spices like cinnamon, ginger, or cloves with allspice quantity.

4. Ginger:

Basically, cardamom is associated with the ginger family so ginger can also be a good substitute for cardamom. Ginger spice is the best spice out of all and it has great flavor and amazing health benefits. The flavor of fresh ginger is pungent, and spicy flavor and tastes with a fruity tinge.

You can add whole ginger as sliced or diced or in the form of ground ginger and powdered ginger in dishes. Ginger can be substituted for cardamom in various recipes like curry sauces, flavor bread, confectionaries, pickles, and many more.

5. Coriander Seeds:

If you run out of cardamom in your spice cabinet then substitute coriander seeds in the recipe. Yes, what you have seen is right. You can add fresh coriander spice to dishes as dry seeds or in powder form instead of cardamom and get the same result. Because Coriander seeds have similar complex flavors as cardamom so replacing them in equal amounts is the perfect substitution.

About Best Mixture Substitutes for Cardamom Spice

1. Cinnamon and Nutmeg: 

Mix equal parts cinnamon and nutmeg to mimic the same taste of cardamom in your recipes. You can use this combination for baked goods, and sweet meat dishes.

2. Ground Cloves and Cinnamon:

The spice blend of cloves and cinnamon mimics the taste of cardamom and can be the best cardamom replacement. To substitute for a tsp of cardamom, take half a teaspoon of cloves and cinnamon for the recipe. It works great for meat, seafood, and other spicy dishes.

3. Cinnamon and Ginger:

This combination is best for rice, meat, and savory dishes. If you want to try this mixture as a cardamom substitute, add equal parts cinnamon and ginger and replace cardamom in the recipe. Initially, add less amount of mixture then adjust gradually as per the taste.

Do Check:

Cardamom Substitute

Cardamom Substitute 1

Cardamom Green

Nutritional Information [Approx. Values]
No. of Servings per Pack: 2
Serving Size: 5 g

Nutrients Per 100 g %Contribution to RDA per Serve
Energy 342.95 kcal 0.86
Protein 9.92 g
Carbohydrates 64.86 g
Total Sugars 4.28 g
Added Sugars 0 g 0
Total Fat 4.87 g 0.36
Saturated Fat 0.62 g 0.14
Trans Fat (other than naturally occurring fat) 0 g 0
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 15.51 mg 0.04

*%RDA values are based on the Energy requirement of 2000 kcal/day for the average adult as per ICMR 2010, It may vary as per an individual’s calorie values.

What Is Cardamom?

Cardamom also called elaichi in India. The original or scientific name of the cardamom is Elettaria cardamomum. It is a staple spice pod ingredient that has a unique flavor and adds a top-notch aroma to your dish. It is counted with other spices which are used in garam masala and are closely related to turmeric and ginger spices.

Mostly, cardamom spice is farmed in several Asian countries like India, China, Bhutan, Indonesia, etc. The shape of the cardamom is spindle shape and the shell of the cardamom covers the black cardamom seeds that have a complex flavor. The taste of cardamom is citrusy and sweet along with hints of cloves, menthol, fennel, and licorice.

Mainly, cardamom is used in cooking and baking sweet or savory recipes or seafood dishes, and also you can enhance the flavor of Indian, Middle Eastern, Arabic, and Swedish recipes by using this staple spice. You can use it in whole, ground, and powdered forms. Also, it comes in three different types, green, black, and white. Look at the below sections for an explanation of the kinds of pods, seeds, etc.

What are Cardamom Pods?

Cardamom pod is a whole spice that contains seeds and it enhances the slightly sweet and spicy flavor in sweet and savory dishes. The shape of the cardamom pod is like a triangular cross-section with a spindle shape. Cardamom pod has a thin, paper-like shell that covers the seeds so well and retains its flavor of it. You can also find it in two forms ie., whole cardamom pods or ground cardamom powder form.

If you want to replace these with others then look for the cardamom pods substitute. The best substitute for cardamom Pods is both cinnamon and nutmeg. 

Different Kinds of Cardamom Pods

You can find three types of cardamom pods. They are green cardamom, black cardamom, and white cardamom pods refer to the below sections for a detailed explanation of cardamom pods types along with the best cardamom substitutes.

Green Cardamom Pod: This is the primary type of cardamom pod that is used mostly by people in the spice blend and you can easily buy this from the spice section of the grocery store. The other name of the green cardamom pod is Elettaria cardamomum which holds herbal quality, a tart, and a sweet taste.

Green cardamom pod is a versatile type among others. Hence, it gives a unique flavor to many recipes like savory and sweet dishes and also in tea/chai drinks. Look more about the best substitute for green cardamom pods from the above modules.

White Cardamom Pod: These are similar to green cardamom pods but they have been bleached for experiencing the different spice flavor which is mild. Yes, a mild taste will be found in the white pod because of the bleach.

It lessens the spice’s flavor essentially and also they are less intense and subtle than other types of pods. This type of cardamom pod is used mostly in sweet dishes rather than savory dishes.

Black Cardamom Pod: It is also called Amomum subulatum or Amomum pods which are even stronger and smokier relating to aroma and taste. The specific flavor of the black cardamom pods is like a trace of citrus and menthol.

This type of cardamom spice pod is used in savory recipes like curries or meat dishes across the globe for its powerful smell and taste. Overall, this black cardamom pod holds the powerpack taste and aroma which gives more intense flavors in dishes than green and white cardamom pods.

Types of Cardamom Pods

What Does Green Cardamom Taste Like?

Green cardamom tastes like an ‘earthy ginger’ which means sweet, zesty, and spicy, with subtle traces of citrus. So it works great by pairing with other warming spices like nutmeg and cinnamon.

What Does White Cardamom Taste Like?

White cardamom tastes like a green cardamom flavor but it is not at all similar. It has a mild and more delicate flavor than a green one.

What Does Black Cardamom Taste Like?

Black cardamom tastes like a sharp menthol flavor with hints of smoky flavor so it is better for all varities of savory recipes like soups, stews, curries, and marinades. It is also used in different spice blends such as garam masala, chat masala, etc.

Cardamom Seeds Vs Pods

A cardamom pod is a spindle-shaped shell that includes seeds inside. The unit of shell and seeds is called whole cardamom pods. The black color and small-sized spice inside the shell are known as Cardamom seeds.

You can use those seeds either whole or ground in the dishes. If you ground them into a fine powder then the aroma of the seed increases and gives extreme flavor to the dish. The similar thing with both is the taste, yes whole pod and its seeds have the same aroma and taste.

Variety forms of Cardamom

Cardamom Pods Vs Ground Cardamom Powder

Whole Cardamom pod and ground cardamom powder give the same taste in the recipe. You can use both ways as per your recipe instructions. Ground powdered cardamom spice will stay fresh for a short period of time whereas the whole pod stays for a longer time when it is stored in the fridge. If they sit for too long then this flavorful spice will gradually lose its original aroma and quality.

You can use whole pods for cooking, drinking, hair care, etc. on the other hand, the ground powder can be used in baking, sweet dishes, and other recipes. Roasted and Toasted Cardamom pod has a bolder flavor and they can be utilized directly or with only shell or only seeds in dishes. The basic rule of converting whole to ground cardamom is six cardamom pods equivalent to one teaspoon of ground cardamom.

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FAQs on Best Alternatives for Cardamom Spice in Baking & Cooking

1. What is the Great Cardamom Substitute in Garam Masala Mix?

One of the best substitutes for cardamom in garam masala mix is a bend of 1 part cumin with ¼ part allspice berries that gives a similar flavorful spice.

2. What is the best cardamom substitute for chai?

The best cardamom substitute in a chai that gives an intense aroma is cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and black pepper.

3. Is cardamom the same as nutmeg?

No, cardamom is not the same as nutmeg because cardamom evolves from an herb while nutmeg develops from an evergreen tree. The similar thing in both is the flavor so it can be treated as the stand-alone cardamom substitute in sweet and savory recipes.

4. What spice is closest to cardamom?

The closest spice to cardamom is cinnamon and nutmeg because of the slightly sweet and earthy flavor. So they became the best two standalone cardamom substitutes that can be used in almost all recipes.

5. What is the best black cardamom substitute?

There are five Best Substitutes for Black Cardamom that can help you replace it in any recipe. They are:

  • Green Cardamom.
  • Allspice Powder.
  • Cinnamon and Cloves.
  • Mix Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Allspice.
  • Cinnamon and Nutmeg.

6. Name any of the best Ground Cardamom Substitute?

The best substitute for ground cardamom is Cinnamon but also there are a few other best Ground Cardamom Substitutes like Nutmeg, AllSpice, Ginger, etc.

7. What can I substitute for cardamom powder?

You can choose the same flavored ground spice like allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon as a Cardamom powder substitute in any savory dish. You can even use it as a cardamom substitute baking.

Key Takeaways

Now, we all know that your spice cabinet can be used as a substitute for cardamom spice in recipes. After referring to the above article, we hope you may get an idea about the handy alternatives for cardamom. Still, looking for any assistance regarding cardamom pod substitute kindly ask us via the comment section below.

Our team will reach out to your query and provide the best answer asap. Meanwhile, check out the other herbs and spices substitutes like Tarragon substitute, Paprika substitute, etc. on our site @canfoodgobad.com and prepare your recipe on time.

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