Are there any garam masala substitutes you can use, and if so, are they easy to find? Well, you have to read this article to find out the answers to these baffling questions.
Garam masala is a superb spice. It is not an ordinary ingredient, like onions, pepper, and chili, as it is a combination of more than 30 different ingredients. Because of its complexity, this particular spice is a favorite, especially in India and other nearby countries.
In fact, Western regions have also started to appreciate the uniqueness of this spice. In fact, various restaurants prefer this spice over some other commercial options.
But at the same time, such complexity can lead to the spice being scarce and very difficult to find, even in places that have an abundance of spices. Whenever I go to Asian and Indian stores, I always try my luck and attempt to find garam masala. If I am lucky, I bring it home in a bottle or two. If not, then I usually go home empty-handed.
3 Of The Best Garam Masala Substitutes
Taste Of Garam Masala
Garam masala usually has a warm taste, just like curry powder and curry paste. You can use it in your broccoli soup, Afghani chili, and Red Lentil soup. You could even include this ingredient in your favorite sweet potatoes and various chicken breast recipes.
But as I said earlier, it is quite difficult to find, so what can you do if this particular blend is missing from your kitchen? Do you have any alternative options available? Fortunately, there are several garam masala substitutes that you can try. And you will find out all of them in this article. So let’s get started!
Garam Masala Substitutes
1. Curry Powder
As I told you earlier, garam masala has almost the same flavor as curry powder. Therefore, if you are running out of time and options, you can try it as an alternative. Trust me, it is worth a try.
The warmth that curry powder gives to your dish is not comparatable to garam masala, but the overall flavor compensates for that. This is especially true if you are making an Indian recipe. Since the flavor of curry powder is strong, it can easily compensate for the absence of garam masala.
If a particular recipe tells you to use two tablespoons of garam masala, you can just replace it with the same amount of curry powder and season your cuisine without any problem at all!
2. Allspice And Cumin
Allspice and cumin are present in most households. They are widely sold in the market, so getting them is not that difficult. The original garam masala is composed of more than 30 different spices. By combining both allspice and cumin, you will get close to this number of spices. Of course, there is no blend that is more complex than garam masala.
You can make this unique alternative by mixing four tablespoons of cumin and one tablespoon of allspice. With this distribution, you will be able to create a robust seasoning with a warm flavor.
When a recipe requires you to use one tablespoon of garam masala, just substitute it with one tablespoon of allspice and cumin mix. The similarities between them are uncanny, so your guests and visitors won’t know that you didn’t use garam masala at all!
3. Chaat Masala
Garam masala is a traditional Indian spice, so it is appropriate to replace it with an Indian spice as well. Well, let me introduce you to chaat masala, which is a type of cooling blend. It produces the opposite effect to garam masala, considering that is a warming spice. However, if you are really in a tight spot, you can freely use chaat masala.
Like garam masala, chaat masala is a combination of different spices. The flavor that it creates is sweet and salty. As a result, you have to be extra careful if you are going to use this spice, especially if you making a cuisine that requires a strong flavor.
You can use the same amount of chaat masala as you do garam masala. However, here is the catch. Do not pour all of the chaat masala powder into the mix at once because it will disrupt the flavor of the dish. Instead, add the blend gradually so that you can control the taste of the cuisine. If you already have the flavor you desire, you can stop adding the spice.
Creating Your Own Garam Masala
If none of these substitutes are available, then you have to use your ingenuity in the kitchen. Of course, it would be difficult to imitate traditional garam masala, as it is composed of ingredients that are only found in India. Fortunately, you can still recreate its flavor and effect by mixing its key components.
The main ingredients of garam masala are ground coriander, cardamom, cumin, cloves, and pepper. If you can get your hands on these ingredients, you can easily make a substitute blend of garam masala. Just mix them until you get the intended flavor you want for the seasoning.
Here is the specific mixture:
- Ground cumin (3/4 teaspoon).
- Ground coriander (3/4 teaspoon).
- Ground pepper (1/2 teaspoon).
- Ground cardamom (1/2 teaspoon).
- Ground cloves (1/4 teaspoon).
- Ground cinnamon (1/4 teaspoon).
Once you are done, you can add this blend to your cuisines. As it is an alternative that’s derived from the main ingredients of garam masala, it should still have the same effect on your dish. Use the same amount of the substitute, as is required for garam masala.
A Little Reminder
Using garam masala and other strong spices that will leave a strong scent on your hands and in your kitchen. Therefore, you will need to practice proper hygiene by washing your hands thoroughly before and after cooking. The utensils you used in the cooking should be cleaned in the dishwasher, too.
One effective way to remove the scent is to use hot water when washing. It should remove the strong smell that’s created by garam masala. Washing will also reduce the chances of food going off and catching foodborne illnesses. I know that food is more enjoyable to eat if it is clean, healthy, and safe!
These are the best garam masala substitutes that you can get. By having them stored in your pantry, you will no longer have to worry if you run out of this favorite Indian spice. It would also be great if you could experiment with some other alternatives. After all, the kitchen is a good place to explore. It would not only improve and heighten your cooking and food preparation skills, but also benefit all the hungry stomachs in your home.
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