The most common form of cardamom - green cardamom - is used as a flavoring, mainly for coffee and tea. In some Middle Eastern countries, coffee and cardamom are often cooked and ground together in a mihbaz, an oven using wood or gas, and in a wooden mortar to produce mixtures that are as much as forty percent cardamom. In some cultures, the grinding is ritualized and accompanied by singing and dancing. All the different cardamom species and varieties are used mainly as cooking spices and as medicines. In general,

  • Elettaria cardamomum (the usual type of cardamom) is used as a spice, a masticatory, and in medicine; it is also sometimes smoked; it is used as a food plant by the larva of the moth Endoclita hosei.
  • Amomum is used as an ingredient in traditional systems of medicine in China, India, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.
  • In the Middle East and Turkey, green cardamom powder is used as a spice for sweet dishes as well as traditional flavouring in coffee and tea. It is also used to some extent in some dish recipes. In Arabic, cardamom is called al-Hayl.
  • In South Asia green cardamom is often used in traditional Indian sweets and in tea, or chai. Black cardamom is sometimes used in garam masala for curries. It is often referred to by its size as being Moti Elaichi or fat cardamom. In Hindi, Tamil and Urdu cardamom is called elaichi. It is called Elakka in Malayalam, which is the language of Kerala an Indian province that accounts for 70% of Indian cardamom.
  • In Northern Europe, cardamom is commonly used in sweet foods.
  • It has also been known to be used for making gin