The Best Simple Brown Cardamom Substitutes

Brown Cardamom Substitutes

Looking for an alternative to Brown Cardamom? You’re in the right place! Keep reading for my favourite simple Brown Cardamom substitutes.

What is Brown Cardamom?

Cardamom Pods are a spice native to India and Sri Lanka traditionally used in curries. It can be used as either the whole pods, whole seeds or ground seeds. There are two different forms the more commonly used small green pods or the larger brown or black pods.

The green pods have a unique strong slightly eucalyptus flavour that works well in both sweet and savory dishes.

The brown or black pods are stronger and more smoky / musky in flavour and only used in savoury dishes.

Simple Brown Cardamom Substitutes

1. Green Cardamom

For savoury dishes I would use them interchangeably with 2-3 small green pods subbing for 1 large brown or black pod – knowing that there will be a difference in the flavour.

2. Cumin Seeds

The rounded earthy flavour of cumin can make a lovely substitute for brown cardamom.

3. All Spice

Ground All Spice will take your flavour profile in a different direction but not necessarily an unpleasant detour. It tends to be slightly stronger and than cardamom so start with less. Use whole allspice berries to sub for whole cardamom and ground allspice for ground cardamom.

4. Star Anise

Star anise actually has a background sweetness that can work in place of cinnamon but I’d only use it in savoury dishes because it will probably overpower a sweet dish.

How to Store Brown Cardamom

In an airtight jar in your pantry.

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Also see see the Simple Ingredients Substitutes Index.

Have fun in the kitchen!

With love,
Jules x