Garam Masala Substitute: What Should You Use?

garam masala substitute

If you’re out, or just don’t have any on hand, you may be wondering what to use as a substitute.

There are many different options, so it really depends on what you’re looking for in terms of flavor.

Here are a few garam masala substitutes to try depending on what you have available.

Let’s check them out.

Read more: Tomato Substitute

What is garam masala and what does it taste like?

It is a blend of different spices that are used in Indian cooking.

It typically contains cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves.

The spices give the dish a warm, fragrant flavor.

You will see that people often use this on chicken or lamb dishes.

The benefit of using garam masala is that it can help to improve circulation and digestion.

What are some substitutes for garam masala?

If you want to replicate the taste, then you can try using a combination of these spices.

If you have them all on hand, then great! If not, don’t worry, any combination of these spices will still give your dish that warm, Indian flavor.

Cumin, Coriander, and Cardamom: This is a classic trio of spices that are often used in Indian cooking.

They have a warm, peppery flavor that will give your dish the taste it needs.

Cloves, Nutmeg, and Allspice: These three spices have a warm, spicy flavor that will make your dish taste as it came from an Indian restaurant.

Cinnamon and Ginger: These two spices have a very strong, warm flavor.

They are perfect for winter dishes or when you want something with a lot of flavors.

Paprika and Cayenne Pepper: These two spices have a smoky, spicy flavor that will give your dish some heat.

So, as you can see, there are many different substitutes that you can use for garam masala.

It really depends on what you have available and what you’re looking for in terms of flavor.

Just remember that all of these substitutes will give your dish a warm, Indian flavor.

In terms of the amount used, you can substitute 1 teaspoon with any of the substitutes listed above.

If you’re looking for a stronger flavor, then feel free to use more.

And if you’re using a powder form of spice, then be sure to adjust the measurements accordingly.

How to make your own garam masala spice blend?

To make your own garam masala spice blend, you will need the following spices:

  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves

Now, toast the spices in a dry pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until they are fragrant.

Allow the spices to cool before grinding them in a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle.

Store the spice blend in an airtight container.

Recipes that use garam masala spice blend?

There are many popular recipes that use garam masala spice blend.

Some of these recipes include chicken tikka masala, lamb curry, and vegetable korma.

When using a garam masala substitute in your cooking, you will want to keep in mind the other flavors that are present in the dish.

If you’re making a curry, then you may want to try using a combination of spices that will complement the other flavors in the dish.

For example, if you’re using cinnamon and ginger as your substitutes, then you may want to use them in dishes that have sweet and sour flavors.

Tips for using garam masala in your cooking

Here are my personal tips for using garam masala in your cooking:

  • If you’re using the spice blend for the first time, start by adding a small amount to your dish and then taste as you go. This will help you to find the perfect balance of flavor.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with different spices combinations. You may find that you like a certain combination better than another.
  • If you’re making a dish that is traditionally made with garam masala, then be sure to use other complementary flavors so that your dish still tastes authentic.
  • Remember that you can always adjust the amount used to suit your taste. If you want a stronger flavor, then add more. If you want a milder flavor, then use it less.
  • Store any leftover garam masala in an airtight container. It will keep for up to 6 months.
  • You can also make your own garam masala spice blend at home. This will allow you to customize the flavor to your liking.

How do you fix too much garam masala?

If you find that your dish has too much garam masala, you can try diluting it with some plain yogurt or milk.

Alternatively, you could also add more of the other ingredients in the recipe to help balance out the spice level.

Finally, if all else fails, you can always add a little sugar to help offset the spiciness.

Which garam masala is the best?

There are many different types, but which one is the best? That depends on what you’re looking for.

If you want a strong flavor, you might prefer a garam masala with more cloves or black pepper.

If you want something a little more subtle, you might like a blend that features cumin or cardamom more prominently.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which garam masala is the best for your tastes.

Try different blends until you find one that you really love.

What does garam masala taste good with?

It generally goes well with chicken, fish, lamb, rice, and vegetables.

It can be used as a dry rub or added to sauces and curries.

When using garam masala as a dry rub, it is important to massage it into the meat for the best flavor.

Adding it to sauces or curries will give them a nice depth of flavor.

It can also be used to season vegetables before roasting or grilling.

Is garam masala just curry powder?

No, it is not just a curry powder.

It is a unique Indian spice blend that includes different spices like cumin, coriander, cardamom, cloves, and black pepper.

It’s used to add flavor to Indian dishes like curries, dal, and rice.

While curry powder can be used as a substitute for garam masala, it won’t taste the same since curry powder is a blend of different spices used in Indian cooking.

What is the English name?

The English name is “mixed spices.” It is a blend of ground spices that are used in Indian cuisine.

The ingredients in garam masala vary but typically include cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, cumin, and pepper.

When should you add garam masala?

It is a delicious blend of spices that can be added to many different dishes.

It’s typically added to food near the end of cooking, but there are some cases where it can be added earlier.

Here are a few tips on when to add it while cooking:

If you’re making a dish with a sauce or gravy, add it towards the end so the flavors have time to meld together.

If you’re making a dry dish like roasted vegetables or a grain dish, you can add it either at the beginning or at the end of cooking.

Adding it at the beginning will give the spices more time to infuse into the dish while adding it at the end will give a more pronounced flavor.

Whenever you add it, start with a small amount and add more to the taste.

You can always add more, but you can’t take it away once it’s been added.

Is garam masala the same as five-spice?

garam masala substitute

No, it is not the same as five-spice.

It is a blend of spices used in Indian cuisine, while five-spice is a Chinese spice blend that typically contains star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper, and fennel seeds.

While both blends can contain similar spices, they have different flavor profiles.

It is typically warmer and more fragrant, while five-spice is drier and less spicy.

Can I use tikka masala instead?

Using tikka masala instead is a personal preference, and there is no right or wrong answer.

Tikka masala is a spicier blend of spices than garam masala, so if you prefer a more intense flavor, then tikka masala may be the better choice for you.

However, if you prefer a milder flavor, then garam masala is the better option.

Ultimately, it comes down to what you prefer taste-wise.

Can you mix garam masala and curry powder?

Yes, you can mix them together.

This combination is often used in Indian cuisine to add a depth of flavor to dishes.

When combining these spices, be sure to taste the mixture and adjust the proportions as necessary to suit your taste.

Does Aldi sell garam masala?

Yes, Aldi does sell it.

In fact, they sell a few different varieties, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

They also have a number of other spices and seasonings available, so you can create any dish you desire.

How do you identify garam masala?

It is a blend of ground spices used extensively in Indian cuisine.

The word garam refers to “hot” or “spicy” in Sanskrit, and masala simply means “blend”.

There is no one definitive recipe here – each cook has their own version, which may vary slightly (or greatly) from one another.

The most common ingredients are black pepper, cloves, cinnamon, cumin, and cardamom.

However, other spices such as nutmeg, mace, bay leaves, and star anise may also be used.

The proportions of each spice vary depending on the recipe, but the goal is to create a blend that is hot, fragrant, and flavorful.

Should garam masala be cooked?

The short answer is no, it does not need to be cooked.

It is a blend of spices that are typically roasted and ground together.

This spice blend can be used in both cooked and raw dishes.

When used in cooked dishes, the flavors of the spices will meld together and become more pronounced.

When used in raw dishes, the spices will provide a more subtle flavor.

Is garam masala a finishing spice?

No, it is not a finishing spice.

You can use it during cooking to add flavor, or you can sprinkle it on top of finished dishes for a bit of extra flavor.

It is up to you.


In short, when it comes to substituting garam masala in your cooking, you can use either of the above substitutes.

Just be sure to keep in mind the other flavors that are present in the dish and to adjust the amount of spice accordingly.

Also, garam masala is a spice blend that can be used to season many different types of foods.

You’ll want to use it sparingly or you may overwhelm your dish with too much flavor.

When in doubt, try adding more of the other ingredients in your recipe instead so that you don’t overpower your meat and vegetables with spices.

Tamara Pierce

Tamara Pierce is a food writer at Elapasony, passionate about exploring diverse cuisines and sharing recipes and food experiences. From trendy restaurants to local hotspots, she's always on the lookout for new and exciting flavors.

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