5 Cardamom Substitutes to Spice Up Your Dishes

If you’re seeking for a substitute for cardamom pods or ground cardamom, you’ve come to the correct spot. Cardamom may be replaced with a variety of spices, including cinnamon, allspice, and cumin.

But, in order to determine what would perform effectively as a cardamom substitute, we must first understand what cardamom is.

What is Cardamom Made Of?

Cardamom is an Indian spice obtained from the seeds of numerous Zingiberaceae species. Per 2 grams it contains 0.1g of fat, 0.4mg of sodium, 22.4mg of potassium, 1.4g of carbohydrates, and 1.4g of fiber. It also contains traces of iron and magnesium.

Cardamom gives meals a herbal warmth. It tastes like a cross between eucalyptus, mint, and pepper, but it’s sweeter than cumin and less lemony than fennel. Cardamom may be found in a variety of meals, including noodle dishes, poultry, chai lattes, and fruit salads.

Whether you dislike the taste, don’t have any on hand, or just want to try something different, here are five cardamom replacements that are guaranteed to wow.

You may also be interested in this comparison of cardamom seeds and pods.

Top 5 Cardamom Replacements

The following qualities are important to search for in an excellent cardamom substitute: texture, taste, and adaptability.

First and foremost, the texture should be comparable to cardamom. While you may be able to obtain extracts with a comparable flavor, you may not be able to replace liquids in the recipe.

Likewise, it is only a suitable substitution if the taste is equivalent. It does not have to be precise, and in certain circumstances, being different is preferable, but it cannot be the polar opposite.

Finally, the replacement must be adaptable. It must provide the same function as cardamom. It must cook similarly to cardamom, have a comparable strength, and function in the same sorts of foods.

With that in mind, let’s look at the top five cardamom substitutes.

1. Allspice

Allspice is a common spice in Caribbean, Middle Eastern, and Latin American cuisines. It is also known as Jamaica pepper, myrtle pepper, pimento, or pimento. It is made from the dried, unripe berries of the Pimenta dioica shrub.

It tastes like cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pepper, but with a bitter, fruity undertone.

There are 0.2g of fat, 1.5mg of sodium, 19.8mg of potassium, 1.4g of carbs, and trace quantities of calcium and vitamin C in 2g of allspice.

Allspice is a widely available spice. It has a rich taste that works well in both sweet and savory meals. It is simple to locate and inexpensive. In many respects, freshly ground allspice is similar to cardamom, but it also includes undertones of cinnamon and nutmeg.

You’ve certainly tasted it in some Christmas treats, but it comes to life in savory dishes. Because allspice is more strong than cardamom, use less of it. It is best to use half a teaspoon or less. Use the same amount as allspice: half a teaspoon or less.

If you’re searching for a taste, complexity, and use that’s comparable to cardamom, allspice is a great substitute.

2. Cinnamon

In terms of taste, cinnamon is the closest substitute for cardamom. It’s deep and earthy, with the same herbal warmth. It is also suitable for many of the same meals.

Cinnamon is obtained from the inner layer of bark of several Cinnamomum genus plants. Curled chunks of bark are dried cinnamon sticks. Cinnamon powder is quite similar to cardamom powder.

Cinnamon contains 0.3mg sodium per 2g, 11.2mg potassium, 2.1g carbs, 1.4g fiber, 0.1g sugar, and traces of iron and calcium. It also lowers blood pressure and has several other health advantages.

Cinnamon has a stronger scent than cardamom and should be used sparingly as a replacement. Use the same amount as allspice: half a teaspoon or less.

The powder form is easier to work with and mixes well into meals, although whole or diced sticks may be used in stews, curries, and soups.

One of the finest aspects of cinnamon is its rich and nuanced taste, which goes nicely with a variety of cuisines and spices. If you combine cinnamon with any of the other spices on this list, you will get a flavor that is very similar to cardamom.

Cinnamon may be simpler to get than cardamom and may even be less expensive. If you’ve ran out of cardamom or want to experiment with other tastes, this is a quick remedy.

3. Coriander

Coriander, often known as Chinese parsley or dhania, is an Apiaceae family plant. While cilantro is a herb generated from the plant’s leaves, coriander is formed from the plant’s seeds.

Coriander, unlike other spices, does not provide many nutritional advantages. It has 0.4g of fat, 0.8mg of sodium, 0.4g of carbs, 0.8g of fiber, and 0.4g of protein per 2g. It also contains traces of iron.

Coriander seeds have a taste comparable to cardamom, although it is more delicate and less complex. You will need a little more since it is less strong than cardamom. A third of that amount should enough.

Coriander is more lemony than cardamom and has a nuttier flavor overall. Coriander may be used as a seed or as a powder. The powder has a more cardamom-like feel and works well in most meals. Purchase dried coriander seeds and roast and ground them yourself to obtain the freshest and most flavorful coriander powder.

While coriander may not contain as many nutrients as other herbs and spices, it can assist to manage blood glucose levels and can aid in digestion. It has also been related to the prevention of arthritis, anemia, skin problems, and stomach discomfort.

While fresh coriander seeds are difficult to get in most supermarkets, coriander powder is widely available. You may use it alone or combine it with other spices such as cinnamon to achieve the closest taste to cardamom.

4. Cumin

Cumin, like coriander, is a plant in the Apiaceae family. The spice is made from the seeds and may be used whole or crushed. Cumin is a prominent spice in the Iranian-Turanian area, and it is used in many traditional cuisines.

There are 0.5g of fat, 3.5mg of sodium, 37.5mg of potassium, 0.9g of carbs, 0.2g of fiber, and 0.4g of protein in every 2g of cumin. It also includes magnesium and calcium and is strong in iron.

Cumin has a flavor profile that is very similar to coriander, with the same mild, nutty, spicy taste, although it is less herbaceous. Use a third more cumin than cardamom, as you would coriander.

Cumin is typically utilized in savory foods and is often seen in Indian and Mexican cuisine. Cumin also aids digestion and may prevent diarrhea, decreases cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and is high in antioxidants. It has even been related to cancer prevention.

Cumin may be found in any grocery store, generally at powder form. When combined with another spice, such as cinnamon, it produces the ideal cardamom alternative.

5. Nutmeg

Nutmeg is an intriguing spice on its own, but it also makes a surprisingly decent cardamom substitute. Nutmeg may be derived from numerous Myristica species, the most common of which being the Myristica fragrans tree. This tree yields nutmeg and mace.

Nutmeg is derived from the tree’s nut, while mace is derived from the nut covering. Pre-ground nutmeg is most often seen in stores.

Whole-nut nutmeg, on the other hand, is not difficult to come by. If you want to use whole-nut nutmeg, just grate it into the dish.

Nutmeg has 0.8g of fat, 0.4mg of sodium, 7.7mg of potassium, 1.1g of carbs, 0.5g of fiber, 0.6g of sugar, and 0.1g of protein per 2g. It also contains traces of magnesium.

While this list may not seem spectacular, nutmeg may also aid with digestion, pain relief, skin care, sleeplessness, blood flow, pollutants removal, and cancer prevention.

Nutmeg and cinnamon are excellent cardamom substitutes, but they are also tasty on their own. It has a sweeter flavor than cumin or coriander but is not as strong as cinnamon. It may be used in the same proportion as cardamom.

Nutmeg is used in both savory and sweet cuisines. Most popularly, it may be found in Christmas baked products, as a hot chocolate ingredient, and as an accent spice in alfredo sauce. For the best flavor, grind or grate the nutmeg yourself.

Did you know that nutmeg is one of the most easily overdosed substances? The reason for this is because in order to experience the hallucinatory effects, you must ingest the equivalent of two or more tablespoons (approximately 15g).

The main disadvantage is that a nutmeg high comes with a slew of side effects such as nausea, dizziness, and a multi-day hangover, not to mention that the effects may last anywhere from 24 hours to many months. Obviously, this is not a good idea.


If you want an identical duplicate, cinnamon and nutmeg are one of the closest combos you’ll find, but any of these five spices would suffice.

Try one or more of these the next time you need cardamom in a dish, and you may be surprised at what you discover.


What can I use instead of cardamom in a recipe?

Cinnamon and nutmeg are also often used as cardamom alternatives. Although cinnamon is the more common of the two as a solo cardamom substitute, nutmeg is still a popular and very cost alternative.

What spice is cardamom related to?

Cardamom, which was originally used in Middle Eastern and Arabic cuisines, has acquired appeal in the West. Cardamom is derived from the seeds of numerous plants that are related to ginger. It has a unique taste that pairs well with both sweet and savory foods.

Can I substitute cumin for cardamom?

For a simple cardamom substitute, use equal parts cumin and coriander seeds. Use the same quantity of this combination as you would cardamom in a recipe. Cumin adds an earthy and lemony flavor, while coriander adds warmth and a spicy bite.

Is cardamom and cinnamon the same thing?

Cardamom has the same spicy, fruity taste as ginger. However, cinnamon possesses the warm, earthy tastes of cardamom. The nuanced tastes of cinnamon, which are also present in cardamom, will not disappoint. You may combine both spices to get a spice with a taste similar to cardamom.

How important is cardamom in a recipe?

Cardamom is a potent, extra-special spice that may be used to provide warmth to both savory and sweet meals, such as challah and roast fowl, as well as blondies, hot chocolate, snickerdoodles, and rice pudding.Consider using cardamom in unusual ways to make it a go-to spice.

What does cardamom do in a recipe?

Cardamom is a strong, somewhat sweet spice that quickly adds warmth and sweetness to any dish, whether it’s used in an Indian stew or a Scandinavian pastry.

What flavor does cardamom add?

The green pods, elettaria cardamomum, often known as “true cardamom,” contain the most well-known cardamom flavor: a herbal warmth reminiscent of a fragrant blend between eucalyptus, mint, and pepper—more zesty than fennel and sweeter than cumin.

What flavor is cardamom taste?

Cardamom has a powerful, pungent perfume and a warm, sweet, and spicy taste with lemon, smoke, and mint undertones.

Is allspice the same as cardamom?

Cardamom may also be substituted with allspice powder. You may buy it in pellets or crushed up form, so you can choose which one to keep in your cabinets before utilizing it. It costs somewhat more than the other spices on this list, although it is still less costly than cardamom.

Can I substitute all spice for cardamom?

What is the finest cardamom substitute? Combine cinnamon and allspice in equal proportions. So 1 teaspoon cardamom is equivalent to 12 teaspoon cinnamon and 12 teaspoon allspice. It lacks the depth and originality of cardamom, yet it will suffice in a hurry.

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