6 Best Cardamom Substitute

You don’t have cardamom in stock, you can find the best cardamom substitute listed below so that you don’t need to rush to the store. We use cardamom as a spice for different dishes and one of the popular ingredients used in Indian cuisine and Scandinavian dishes.

Cardamom’s flavor is spicy while offering citrus and herbal taste. It is a strong and versatile spice. Flexibility in using other products as cardamom substitute makes it more versatile.

Reasons you may require a substitute for cardamom, for example, being put off by the expense of cooking for somebody with an allergy are many. You have alternatives and you will find cardamom substitutes within your spices cabinet.

However, it is important to note that cardamom is the world’s third most expensive spice surpassing the price of vanilla and saffron due to its health benefits and nutritional facts.

6 Best Cardamom Substitute Spices

cardamom substitute
6 Best Cardamom Substitute

1. Clove


Cloves are a musky spice with a bitter taste. You can purchase cloves in whole or ground form and used them in a variety of savory and sweet dishes whenever the recipe calls. Like cardamom, it adds intricate essence to meats, desserts, and beverages.

2. Cinnamon

cinnamon and anise

Cinnamon is a woody spice and can be purchased as ground or sticks. It is considered the best cardamom replacement when cinnamon is mixed with nutmeg and used in recipes.

3. Nutmeg

nutmeg cardamom substitute

You can purchase nutmeg in the form of seed or powder. It has a nutty flavor to that of chai tea and it is one of the best substitutes for cardamom due to its taste resemblance.

4. Apple Pie Spice

apple pie spice
Apple Pie Spice

Apple pie spice is popularly sold by McCormick with the inclusion of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice ingredients.

5. Ginger


Cardamom belongs to the ginger family, and ginger has the flavor of cardamom. Therefore, ginger serves as a substitute for cardamom.

6. Allspice

allspice cardamom substitute
Allspice (Image from Pexels)

Allspice has a similar flavor to that of cardamom. You can purchase allspice as whole or ground from a grocery store and it is popular in Caribbean cuisine.

Four different combinations for cardamom substitute

There are three different types of cardamom. Green cardamom is mostly used in savory and sweet dishes and white cardamom is used in desserts. The third type of cardamom is called black cardamom commonly used to flavor dishes prepared from meat products. Since it is expensive, you need to find a substitute for cardamom as follows.

1. Combination of Cinnamon and Nutmeg

We have a cardamom substitute with strong and unique flavors. The combination of cinnamon and nutmeg is suggested for use in flavorful dishes, for example, those that element rice and meat. You should add ½ teaspoon of each unique flavor to replace 1 teaspoon of cardamom.

Cinnamon and nutmeg are recommended as the best cardamom substitute. In comparison with nutmeg, cinnamon is the most popular replacement for cardamom, and nutmeg is used as an inexpensive alternative.

When utilizing both of these unique flavors instead of cardamom, it is suggested that you start with the half portion of the spice that your recipe requires and change the quantity according to its taste.

2. Combination of cloves and cinnamon

Due to the complexity of cardamom’s unique flavor, your most ideal choice for a cardamom substitute will be a mix of two other intense and complex flavors. The acerbic power of cloves combined with the sweetened woodiness of cinnamon can effectively imitate the flavor found in cardamom.

This cardamom substitute is suggested for use in meat and fish dishes. To replace 1 teaspoon of cardamom, you will have to utilize ½ teaspoon of each of these spices.

3. Combination of ginger and cinnamon

You can use ginger instead of cloves. It will also provide the same flavor as that of the combination of cloves and cinnamon. Add ½ teaspoon each of ginger and cinnamon to generate the same essence used for rice and meats.

4. Combination of cloves and nutmeg

If your spice cabinet is in shortage of cinnamon, you can use the combination of cloves and nutmeg to equally imitate the flavor found in cardamom. Add ½ teaspoon each of cloves and nutmeg to produce the same essence used for rice and meats.

The best substitute for black cardamom

The best substitute for black cardamom is a composite of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. These 3 aromas combine to recreate the complex flavors and taste of dark cardamom pods. Associate powdered cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice into a mixture that can be used in various types of savory and sweet dishes.

How to use cardamom in recipes

Cardamom seeds are available in the market and grocery stores without pod coverings. However, the recipes you want to prepare requires ground cardamom. How to get ground cardamom? Here are the simple tips to prepare crushed cardamom powder to get savory and sweet dishes.

  • I hope your spice cabinet has cardamom seeds stored but sometimes you need crushed cardamom powder to prepare spicy dishes.
  • Crushing 12 seeds of cardamom is equivalent to 1 cardamom pod.
  • Again crushing down 3 cardamom pods will result in producing ½ teaspoon of cardamom powder.