3 Best Substitutes For Ginger Garlic Paste

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A jar of ginger garlic paste is one of those all-purpose refrigerator staples that we use far more often than we realize.

This fragrant and flavorsome paste forms the base of many South Asian dishes and has found its way into cuisines from all around the world.

But what are the best substitutes for ginger garlic paste? You can use blends of fresh, minced, or dried ginger and garlic to replicate the flavor of ginger garlic paste. You can also use alternatives such as allspice and shallots to replace ginger and garlic.

Got a recipe that asks for ginger garlic paste, but your jar has run dry? Don’t panic, we have some great substitutes that will make sure your dish still tastes delicious!

Let’s take a look at the 3 best substitutes for ginger garlic paste and how to use them.

What Is Ginger Garlic Paste?

Ginger garlic paste is a pureed blend of fresh ginger and garlic, normally with a preservative such as vinegar. This helps the paste to stay stable at room temperature, although once opened, the jar should be kept in the fridge.

If you’ve been using fresh ginger and garlic for years, you might be wondering what the advantage of using paste is.

Firstly, it is already prepared and ready to use. Chopping ginger and garlic is time-consuming and tedious, particularly if you are in a rush. The smell of ginger and garlic also lingers on your chopping board and hands for hours!

There is also an advantage when using ginger garlic paste during the cooking process. When pureed, the two ingredients work together to solve some common problems that occur when using the fresh versions.

Have you ever noticed that fresh garlic burns incredibly quickly when added to the pan?

When pureed with ginger, the garlic is much moire moist and can cook through thoroughly without burning. This enables it to release its incredible scent and flavor into your dish.

The other problem that home chefs often come across is the fibrous texture of ginger.

No matter how finely we chop it, those annoying little strands always seem to be evident in your food. When using the paste, the ginger has been pureed to a pulp, eliminating every fibrous strand.

3 Best Substitutes For Ginger Garlic Paste

So now that we’ve got you all excited about ginger garlic paste, we need to turn our thoughts to what you can use as a substitute for this flavorsome ingredient.

There are plenty of options available, so don’t be disheartened if your supply has run out!

Here are the 3 best ginger garlic paste substitutes:

1. Grated Or Minced Fresh Ginger And Garlic 

If you have run out of ginger garlic paste, you can substitute this ingredient with fresh ginger and garlic. This might sound like an obvious hack, but the secret lies in how you prepare it!

Remember the problems we talked about when using fresh ginger and garlic – fibrous, stringy ginger, and easily-burnt garlic? The trick is to prepare each of them so that they become soft and pulpy, releasing their natural juices to form a paste.

Using equal quantities of both ingredients, peel the garlic and ginger, then grate them finely using a box grater. Alternatively, if you have one, mince the garlic using a garlic press.

Whichever method you use, remember to catch all those precious and flavorsome juices!

You may find that you are left with a fibrous lump of garlic that will not grate, this should be discarded. Stir the two ingredients together and check the moisture levels. If the mix seems too dry, add a splash of water.

You can then use this mixture straight away in the same way as you would use ginger garlic paste.

2. Ground Ginger And Garlic Blend

If you don’t have fresh ginger and garlic, then the dried, ground alternatives can work well. With this method, you don’t get the same amount of moisture in your recipe, so you may need to tweak some other ingredients to compensate for this.

In a small bowl, combine your dried ginger and garlic. You need to be clever with the amounts here, as the dried forms of ginger and garlic are very strong!

We recommend adding the following measurements:

  • For every 2 tsp of ginger garlic paste your recipe requires, add 1/8th tsp of dried garlic powder.
  • For every 2 tsp of ginger garlic paste your recipe requires, add 1/3 tsp of dried ground ginger.

Add a splash of oil, and mix the two powders into a thick paste. This can be lightly fried in oil at the same time as your recipe asks for any other dried spices to be added.

In A Pinch? Best Ginger & Garlic Alternatives

In the unlikely event that you have no fresh or ground ginger or garlic, you could try the following substitutes:

  • Ginger can be substituted with ground allspice, ground cinnamon, ground mace, or ground nutmeg.
  • Garlic can be substituted with chives, shallots, or cumin.

If you have it, some curry powders contain both ginger and garlic.

Just remember to reduce the amount of any other spices used accordingly, otherwise, your dish might be too hot to handle!

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