There are two kinds of cardamom used in Indian cooking: green and black. Green is the more common variety, used for everything from spice mixes to lassis to Indian desserts. The flavor is light and sweet, with a mild eucalyptus note. Green cardamom can be blended whole when making spice mixes, like garam masala, however, when using them in sweets or desserts, you would pop the pod open and lightly crush the fragrant black seeds before using.
Black cardamom, on the other hand, is very powerful and smoky and needs to be used with a lot of caution. Normally only the seeds would be used, and if using the whole pod, it's best to pull it out before serving the dish, as it can be very spicy to bite into.
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