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Whole green cardamom pods are wonderful simmered with other spices while making chai tea or when cooking a grain dish such as rice or quinoa. You can use the whole green cardamom in curry dishes, too. The pods gently open a bit, lending the delicate flavor and aroma of the seeds to the entire dish.
Since it would be unpleasant to bite into or try to chew cardamom seeds, they should be used in dishes where they can be strained before eating. Making spiced tea or chai and spiced coffee are good examples, as are marinades and sauces. One of the best uses for cardamom seeds is to freshly grind them for use in numerous dishes, including desserts. As a general rule, freshly ground spices carry unmatched, robust flavor.