Black Cardamom is the dried fruit of plants of the ginger family. Although, it shares part of the name and some similar flavor notes with its green cousin, Black Cardamom is a lot bolder and smokier than Green Cardamom.
The fruits of the cardamom plant are dried over an open fire, which lends the smoky aroma to this spice. Alongside the menthol and minty aromas, are notes of resin and camphor.
These intense, heady notes put black cardamom in the "hot" spice category, along with black pepper, cloves, and chiles. It's a major component of the spice blend garam masala, which literally means "hot spice mixture."