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|Black cardamom fruit as used as spice|
|Species:||A. subulatum, A. costatum|
|Amomum subulatum, Amomum costatum
(A. subulatum) Roxb. (A. costatum) Benth. & Hook.f.
Black cardamom, also known as hill cardamom, Bengal cardamom, greater cardamom, Indian cardamom, Nepal cardamom, winged cardamom, or brown cardamom, comes from either of two species in the family Zingiberaceae. Its seed pods have a strong camphor-like flavor, with a smoky character derived from the method of drying.
The pods are used as a spice, in a similar manner to the green Indian cardamom pods, but those have a different flavor. Unlike green cardamom, this spice is rarely used in sweet dishes. Its smoky flavor and aroma derive from traditional methods of drying over open flames.
There are at least two distinct species of black cardamom: Amomum subulatum (also known as Nepal cardamom) and Amomum costatum. The pods of A. subulatum, used primarily in the cuisines of India and certain regional cuisines of Pakistan, are the smaller of the two, while the larger pods of A. costatum (Chinese: wiktionary:草果; pinyin: cǎoguǒ; Vietnamese: thảo quả) are used in Chinese cuisine, particularly that of Sichuan; and Vietnamese cuisine.
Culinary uses 
Black cardamom is often erroneously described as an inferior substitute for green cardamom by those unfamiliar with the spice; actually it is just not well suited for the sweet/hot dishes which typically use cardamom outside the plant's native range. Black cardamom, by contrast, is better for hearty meat stews and similar dishes. Although the flavor differs from the smaller green cardamom, black cardamom is sometimes used by large-scale commercial bakers because of its cheapness.
In China 
In Vietnam 
Medicinal uses 
See also 
- "USDA GRIN taxonomy, entry for Amomum subulatum".
- Spice Pages: Black Cardamom (Amomum subulatum)
- Herb: Cao Guo (Tsaoko Fruit), Fructus Amomi Tsao-ko Sacred Lotus Arts 2008
- From Golden Flower brand, December 2007: "User warnings: Raw food. Please wash under tap water at least 5 minutes before cooking. Please cook in hot boiling water at least 30 minutes before consuming."
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