Garlic Paste


garlic paste

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 some 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 daily.

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 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. If you like garlic, then lean toward a bit more, and if you don’t, you can use less.

I like to store the paste in 1 teaspoon cubes. I suggest using this tiny cube silicone tray for garlic paste, ginger paste, and green chili paste.

Knowing that each cube is equal to 1 teaspoon makes it easy to use in recipes.

garlic paste


I like using this tiny cube silicone tray for garlic paste, ginger paste, and green chilli paste. Knowing that each cube is equal to 1 teaspoon makes it easy to use in recipes.

garlic paste

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, there are usually other ingredients added to the paste, and I find that the flavor is pretty muted – or at least, it doesn’t taste fresh. By making a 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 of 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!

garlic paste

Garlic Paste

garlic paste

Garlic Paste

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
5 from 3 reviews
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Servings 1 ½ cups


  • 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 the garlic paste in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to six months. I suggest storing the garlic paste in 1 teaspoon cubes using this tiny cube silicone tray.


  • 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.
  • To help with meal prep, I suggest making 1 teaspoon cubes of paste using this tiny cube silicone tray – each cube is equivalent to 1 teaspoon. 
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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Terence Allan says

    I do a lot of Indian (restaurant style) cooking and in my experience 300g peeled garlic bulbs blended (in a liquidiser NOT a food processor) with 50ml vegetable oil, 1/4 tsp turmeric & 1/4 tsp salt produces a smoother paste which keeps fresh in airtigt container in the fridge for weeks. (the addition of salt and turmeric act alongside the oil as excellent natural preservatives). Also because there is no added water spitting when frying is minimal.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Thanks, Terence. You can certainly add salt and turmeric to my recipe if you use it, or feel free to make it however you prefer. I don’t use water in this recipe.

  2. Rebeca says

    Ann, I had that concern as well, but it sounds like refrigeration, and definitely freezing, keeps the temperature of the paste below the 50 degreea Fahrenheit that botulism spores like to reproduce. From Michigan State University:

    “Unrefrigerated garlic-in-oil mixes can foster the growth of clostridium botulinum bacteria, which produces poisons that do not affect the taste or smell of the oil. Spores of this bacteria are commonly found in soil and can be on produce such as garlic. It is virtually impossible to eliminate all traces of miniscule soil particles on garlic heads. These botulinum spores found in soil are harmless when there is oxygen present. But when spore-containing garlic is bottled and covered with oil, an oxygen-free environment is created that promotes the germination of the spores and produces a toxin that can occur at 50 degrees Fahrenheit or above.

    Botulism is a potentially fatal food poisoning that has symptoms including blurred or double vision, speech and difficulty in breathing and progressive paralysis. Without prompt and correct treatment, one-third of those diagnosed with botulism may die.

    To reduce this risk of botulism, the garlic in oil mixture should be refrigerated and used within two to three days. Garlic-in-oil should always be discarded after two hours at room temperature, even if salt and acids are present. Commercially prepared oils have added acids and other chemicals to eliminate the risk of botulism, but still must be handled carefully and correctly.”

  3. Maya says

    I get a lot of oil splatter when I use garlic paste and find it so frustrating / off-putting that I sometimes end up making daal without it. Do you ever have this problem and know how to deal with it?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Maya! So, I don’t have this problem with garlic paste but I do with spices sometimes! I have a splatter screen that I use when I cook on the stovetop – I bet that would help you! Nowadays though I cook a lot in my instant pot and because it’s so deep I don’t really have that issue with it. Hope that helps 🙂

  4. Liza says

    Thanks for the recipe! Could you give an estimate on the number of heads of garlic in a pound? I have been enjoying your recipes so much the last month or so! Thank you for making Indian cooking so much less daunting!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Liza! I’m so glad you’re liking my recipes 🙂 To answer the garlic question – around 8 heads of garlic = a pound. It doesn’t have to be exact – as long as you blend peeled garlic cloves with oil, it’ll work out and save a lot of time! Hope that helps 🙂

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