When it comes to Indian cooking, having a jar of garlic paste prepared will save you so much time.
Forget mincing fresh garlic every time you make a dish, just whip out your handy dandy jar of garlic paste!
What is Garlic Paste?
Garlic paste is just pureed garlic cloves with a bit of oil that you can keep in the fridge or freezer and use as needed. It’s a “trick” that makes it so much easier to cook Indian food on a daily basis.
Indian cooking has a reputation for being time consuming, but thankfully there are a few tips that have been passed down through the generations to help save time. Most of these “tricks” involve preparing ingredients in advance, like onion tomato masala and ginger paste and this garlic paste.
There are a few ways to make garlic paste/ginger paste. You can certainly combine the two together into one paste if you really want to but I prefer and suggest keeping them separate. That’s because not all recipes call for both ginger AND garlic. Plus, I like to know exactly how much of each ingredient I am adding to a dish. Additionally, having them separate allows me to use these ingredients in non-Indian recipes as well.
How to Use Garlic Paste in Recipes:
I use 1 teaspoon of garlic paste for 1 large garlic clove.
You can always use ½ teaspoon or less of course if you don’t want your food to be too garlicky.
This garlic paste will work in any of my recipes (or really, any recipe) calling for garlic. If a recipe calls for garlic cloves, you know what to do. So what if a recipe calls for minced garlic? Well, you can use the same amount of garlic paste. If you have a little more/less garlic in a recipe – it’s not going to hurt. I always say, if you like garlic then lean toward a bit more and if you don’t then use less.
Why Make Garlic Paste?
I’ve already mentioned the time-saving benefit so I’ll move onto other reasons as to why you should make your own garlic paste. While you can certainly buy minced garlic in stores, they usually add a lot of (unhealthy canola) oil and I find the flavor is pretty muted – or at least, it doesn’t taste fresh. By making homemade paste, you can adjust the amount of oil to taste – though I do suggest using at least the amount called for in the recipe as that will help preserve the garlic.
Another benefit to making it yourself is that you can use organic garlic! Garlic has so many health benefits that to me, it makes sense to buy garlic that hasn’t been sprayed with pesticides. But please do what you think is best.
Another quick time saving tip: this little silicone garlic peeling tool works surprisingly well. So go on and make some garlic paste!
Happy (Indian) Cooking!
When using garlic paste in a recipe: 1 teaspoon garlic paste = approx. 1 large garlic clove
*If you prefer less garlic, you can always use ½ teaspoon of paste per garlic clove listed in a recipe
- 1 pound peeled garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons oil (use a neutral flavored oil)
- Combine the ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth. Scrape the garlic down the sides as needed.
- Store in an air-tight jar in the refrigerator for up to one month. For longer storage, keep in freezer.
- I suggest using at least 2 tablespoons of oil to help preserve the garlic paste, but feel free to add more if you’d like.