The pods are used as a spice, in a manner similar to the green Indian cardamompods, but those have a drastically 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. It is also called badhi elaichi in Hindi.
There are at least two distinct species of black cardamom: Amomum subulatum(also known as Nepal cardamom) andAmomum costatum or A. tsao-ko. The pods of A. subulatum, used primarily in thecuisines of India, 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; andVietnamese cuisine.