Black Cardamom (Amomum subulatum) also called hill 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 with 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.
Black cardamom is used 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 low cost.
The spice adds very intense aroma when used in Black Tea or Green Tea.
In China, the pods are used for “jin-jin” braised meat dishes, particularly in the cuisine of the central-western province of Sichuan.
The pods are often used in Vietnam, where they are called “thảo quả “and used as an ingredient in the broth for the noodle soup called “phở”.
The largest producer of the black cardamom is Nepal, followed by India and Bhutan.
In traditional Chinese medicine, black cardamom is used for stomach disorders and malaria.
In the traditional medicine of India, decoction of "Amomum subulatum" rhizomes is used in the therapy of jaundice