Substitute For Garam Masala – 5 Flavorful Options For You

Do you need a garam masala substitute? Here we are going to reveal to you simple masala hacks to solve your problem.

Usually, the garam masala consists of spices-blends like ginger, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg. Its complex and traditional blend can have up to 30 ingredients.

You will find many South Asian dishes have garam masala as the base ingredient.

Most often, ready-to-use garam masala packs you buy from a store may have cheap and low-quality ingredients. Most of them may not contain nutmeg, cardamom, and other expensive ingredients.

Look for alternatives if you don’t have garam masala in stock or are unable to make it your own.

What’s a good substitute for Garam Masala?

It’s a really tough task to make pure quality garam masala. For this purpose, you have to source 20 to 25 ingredients or more. It’s even more difficult to toast and grind them.

To make things worse, most of the spices lose their freshness and quality within a week after grinding. So it’s worth making fresh garam masala even though it’s troublesome.

If you have no ways to get garam masala, don’t worry. We’ve got you a few useful garam masala substitutes.

1. Curry Powder – An Easy Substitute

It is for those who look for a quick fix.

Using curry powder with a pinch of a few other ingredients is a good substitute for garam masala.

Curry powder may not provide you with the same savor and pungency of garam masala (GM). However, it contains many of the ingredients found in GM. Overall, this replacement option works best if you are preparing an Indian type of dish.

While substituting, use curry powder in a 1:1 measure of garam masala.

RELATED: Can I use garam masala as a substitute for curry powder?

2. Chaat Masala

Chaat masala is a spice powder mix or masala, originating from the Indian subcontinent. It typically consists of cumin, coriander, ginger, black pepper, asafoetida (hing), dried mango powder (amchoor), and chili powder.

When you are preparing Indian dishes, Chaat masala is a suitable replacement for garam masala.

Chat masala has a mild flavor and not a warm blend like GM. If required, you can increase the warmness of Chaat masala by adding a little more pepper and chilies to it.

Chat masala has a blend of sweet, salty, and tart flavors.

In most warm Indian recipes, you can use Chaat masala in an equal portion as the garam masala. Add Chaat masala in small quantities and add more till you get the desired flavor.

For a dish of three servings, just two teaspoons of chaat masala are more than enough.

3. Sambar Masala

Sambar, also spelled sambhar, is a mixed vegetable stew cooked with tamarind broth and spice mixture. It is popular in South Indian and Sri Lankan cuisines.

Spice ingredients used in sambar consist of coriander seeds, cumin, red chilies, fenugreek seeds, cinnamon, tamarind, asafoetida, and curry leaves.

Sambar masala is a good substitute for garam masala. Most of the ingredients in sambar masala are the same as those present in garam masala.

You can use sambar masala in a 1:1 measure instead of garam masala.

4. Spice Mix Of Cumin And Allspice

Allspice and cumin are easily available cooking ingredients.

There is no doubt that traditional garam masala contains about 30 ingredients in total. For this reason, you may be wondering, how these two humble ingredients alone can replace garam masala.

The flavor of allspice brings to mind cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and pepper. It alone gives the flavor of a couple of spices blends together.

Ground cumin has a very distinctive and unique flavor with an earthy, nutty, spicy taste. It has somewhat bitter undertones and a warm and penetrating aroma.

A mixture of allspice and cumin has a similar flavor and aroma of garam masala.

You can make this garam masala substitute by just mixing 1 part of cumin with ¼ part of allspice. Add this mixture instead of garam masala in your dishes in small quantities and gradually increase it till you get the desired taste.

5. DIY Garam Masala

Garam Masala Ground

When you find that no replacement for garam masala is available to you, you can create a great substitute by making a mixture of few ingredients.

The chief ingredients in garam masala are cumin, ground coriander, clove, red chilies/pepper, cinnamon, and cardamom.

By using these ingredients create a substitute blend of spice mixture:

  • 3 parts coriander and cinnamon
  • 1 part cumin and cloves
  • ½ part cardamom and pepper

In case, if you don’t all these ingredients, use the available ingredients to form the spice blend. With a couple of trials, you can get a flavorful garam masala substitute.

Please check out other articles on a substitute for Creole seasoning and substitute for Cajun seasoning to get more info on alternative spice blends.