How to Grind Cardamom Seeds

Written by morgan o'connor
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How to Grind Cardamom Seeds
Leave cardamom seeds in their pods until you are ready to use them. (cardamom 2 image by Alistair Dick from

Cardamom seeds, which offer a distinctive flavour and warm aroma to food, are native to India and a common ingredient in many Indian dishes. The seeds develop in pods, which is how they should be stored until you are ready to use them. Removing the seeds from the pods causes the seeds to begin to lose their flavour quickly. Be careful when including the pod when you cook with cardamom; it has a tough texture and can give your dish a bitter flavour.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Skillet
  • Mortar and pestle

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  1. 1

    Place your cardamom pods into the skillet and fry over medium-high heat for two to three minutes, shaking the pan frequently to avoid burning or scorching. This will toast the seeds, making them more flavourful as well as more brittle and therefore easier to grind. This step is not necessary, however, so you may skip it if you prefer.

  2. 2

    Pour the cardamom pods into the mortar and crush them with the pestle until the pods split open. Sort through the mix in the mortar and pull out any large pod pieces, leaving only the seeds (and perhaps a few small fragments of the pods). Discard the pod pieces or use them for another recipe.

  3. 3

    Grind the cardamom seeds in the mortar with the pestle until they reach your desired consistency. As cardamom seeds tend to be fairly tough, this might take longer than grinding other seeds.

Tips and warnings

  • Once you have removed the pods from the seeds, you may grind your cardamom seeds in a coffee grinder that you use only for herbs. This is faster than grinding them with a mortar and pestle. Do not use a grinder that you have used for coffee. It will leave you with coffee-flavoured cardamom powder.
  • Only grind as much cardamom as you will use within a day or two. Keep the rest of the seeds in their pods, and grind them right before you wish to use them. This will ensure the cardamom powder has the freshest, strongest flavour possible.

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