9 Best Garam Masala Substitutes

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Garam Masala Substitutes



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You don’t have garam masala? No trouble at all as there are some good garam masala substitutes that you can use instead.

Whether you ran out of garam masala without knowing, or you just want to use something else for your dishes, this is the best guide for you.

While no alternative will completely bring in that distinctive flavoring that Garam Masala has, there are others you can use, such as cumin and allspice, curry powder, chaat masala, pumpkin spice, Indian butter chicken, and chicken tikka masala.

These improvements will provide your dish with the same fervor, and complexness Garam Masala delivers.

Let us proceed!

Best Garam Masala Substitutes

1. Cumin and allspice

A conventional Garam Masala can comprise upwards of 30 components, so it’s not always possible for you to make your own. Cumin and allspice produce an identical warming impact in a much lesser duration.

Allspice has a taste similar to a mix of clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Yeah, that’s why it is named so. Its aim here is to give the dish an identical diversity of flavor, which these unique spices would certainly deliver.

Although modest, a mix of cumin and allspice can go some way in replicating that Garam Masala flavor.

Some condiments can easily be seen in any cook’s store cupboard. This two-part mix has significance if you imagine it.

Allspice’s flavor brings to mind the flavor of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and pepper, mixed with cumin. That’s a lovely garam masala alternative. Just combine 1 part cumin with ¼ part allspice.

This combo will deliver a delightful flavor, and you can utilize it in all of the recipes that mandate the use of garam masala.

Because allspice is a variety of spices brought together and cumin has a delightful aroma and sweet flavor, it means that your dish will be completely seasoned and so tasty.

2. Curry powder

So! Have you ever known that curry powder is precisely a condiment of British creation? Yes, I bet you don’t.

One thing more you wouldn’t know is that it was developed as a shortcut to getting the flavorful Indian masala dishes. Relax, I agree. It doesn’t have the same simmering ingredients as garam masala, but you’ll agree that they improve flavor profundity in basically the same ways.

Curry powder is a relatively generic phrase because there are so many variations of curry, of course. But generally, curry powder illustrates a mix of coriander, turmeric, cumin, and chili peppers.

Even though a lot of people recognize it as lacking authenticity, this simple component has been verified to be extremely useful.

It’s a go-to spice blend for many cooks with limited time. While it won’t deliver the same flavorings as Garam Masala, it gives a similar overall taste.

As I have stated before, sometimes there would be different variations of curry powder for sale; you will certainly come across them but go for anything called simply ‘curry powder’; it will do just fine.

Garam Masala isn’t a greatly fiery spice mix, so keep off any curry powder called ‘hot.’ ‘Mild’ or ‘medium’ is normally the nicest alternative.

Also, you may come across something called ‘masala curry powder.’ Be warned; it isn’t the same as Garam Masala; it is commonly just the same as normal curry powder.

‘Masala’ translated actually means ‘a mixture of spices.’ However, masala curry powder works as a fine substitute.

Note, though, that utilizing curry powder will alter the impression of a dish. Curry powder includes turmeric, which isn’t found in Garam Masala.

Turmeric has a rich yellow hue that is frequently revealed in the last impression of a dish. Garam Masala, however, is brown. But then, looked at critically, these decorative modifications aren’t very significant.

Curry powder is a proper store cupboard element. It’s adaptable, so it can be put into a lot of dishes to strengthen their flavor. It’s also helpful when you may wish to replace other Indian spice mixes.

Curry powder can function as an explicit alternative. It is a very easy alteration to promptly restore the fullness of Garam Masala in a recipe. It can be put in at similar points in the recipe as well.

3. Chaat Masala or Sambar Masala

As Garam Masala is a blend of different spices, nothing else is quite like it. Still, if you want to bring in some genuineness to a dish, an Indian spice combination is an adequate substitute.

The flavor outline won’t be perfect, but it should provide identical extra proportions. Ideally, you might have cooked utilizing these seasonings before, and you might understand what they taste like. This renders them simpler to swap with.

Chaat Masala has a zingy taste that’s surprisingly sharp; these sharp notes are intensified by heat and umami. Replacing Garam Masala with Chaat Masala will give your dish a sour characteristic and a little warmth.

The species utilized in chaat masala release a variety of salty and sweetened tastes, so ensure not to overuse. Use proportional quantities of chaat masala when replacing garam masala. Still, everything relies on your dish; some recipes may need less dependence on the ingredients used.

You can employ chaat masala in making vegetarian stews or some other spicy sauces. Sambar Masala gives this warming inducement but adds considerable heat. It’s very aromatic and is commonplace in Indian cuisine.

Although neither of these spice mixtures has the same properties as Garam Masala, they use numerous similar ingredients. They also bring in a complexness that some modest substitutes can’t. If Garam Masala isn’t accessible, either of these choices is worth attempting.

If you’ve never tested them before, then you might have just found something new to love. While they can both be used as an immediate substitute, it’s a better way to add them gradually and then build up, especially if you’ve never attempted them before.

They’re both also combinations with some variation, so some may be more aggressive than others. Begin with half the quantity needed, and then work your way up, tasting it step by step as you go.

4. Pumpkin spice or Ras el Hanout

It may not appear like an apparent option, but a pumpkin spice mix can be utilized in place of Garam Masala. Nonetheless, you’re possibly going to prefer to make a few modifications. Traditionally, pumpkin pie spice mix is formulated utilizing cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and ginger.

Even though it’s always employed in making sweet cooking, it can still be located in savory dishes as well. You may identify many of those elements from the simplified Garam Masala. This provides pumpkin spice that similar warmth that Garam Masala has.

Still, a few ingredients are missing.

Pumpkin spice doesn’t include coriander, cumin, or black pepper. If you plan to employ pumpkin spice as an alternative, I suggest improving the flavor with cumin and coriander.

Ensure to utilize a spice mix rather than a syrup! It may appear apparent, but we’ve all made some crazy cooking errors haven’t we? A syrup would not function at all and most likely will end up far too sweet.

Another alternative to consider is Ras el hanout. Ras el hanout is a North African seasoning blend with many components. In several ways, it’s identical to Garam Masala. Some of its essential elements are cardamom, cinnamon, clove, cumin, nutmeg, and coriander.

Ras el hanout is generally hotter than Garam Masala, so consider that when substituting. I suggest putting ras el hanout small measures and then building up the flavor.

Of course, one of the huge problems you’ll have with utilizing ras el hanout is that it’s frequently difficult to get than Garam Masala.

You may sometimes come across a mix named ‘Moroccan spice,’ and it is either ras el hanout or something identical. If you have ras el hanout in your cupboard, certainly regard it as an option for substitution.

5. Indian Butter Chicken

Another category of sauce that will integrate well enough with your other ingredients rather than garam masala is the Indian butter chicken.

It is formulated from spices, yogurt, fresh ginger, lemon juice, and chicken. It is comparable to tikka masala but has a less complicated taste.

Utilize it in your recipes to make a meal full of flavor.

6. Cumin, Coriander, and Cardamom

Although these spices can be utilized on their own, a variety of cumin, coriander, and cardamom is another means to replace garam masala.

Mix a teaspoon of cumin seeds with 2 teaspoons of coriander seeds and ½ teaspoon of green cardamom pods. Thereafter, put them in a little pan on soft heat.

Then, place them in a blender so they can change into powder. You can utilize it to make vegetable stews or if you are simmering meat like steak or lamb.

7. Chicken Tikka Masala

A very prominent Indian dish that can be utilized in cooking in place of garam masala is the Chicken Tikka Masala. It is a sauce that comprises tomato, chicken, and cream. It also includes conventional Indian spices.

It does have garam masala in its system, which renders it a suitable replacement. The flavors are heavenly with confectionary and earthy traces, making it very delicious.

8. Cinnamon, Fenugreek, and Cloves

A mix of cinnamon, fenugreek, and cloves will also work perfectly as a substitute for garam masala. Place them in a small pan on soft heat and after in a blender so they can be ground into a fine powder.

The scents of all these spices will mix, and you’ll get an elegant mixture. You can use it with vegetables, meat stews, chicken, or any other thing that garam masala is utilized for.

9. Mustard seeds, Curry Leaves and Coconut

Last but not least, I offer a variety of curry leaves, mustard seeds, and coconut.


You can use a teaspoon of minced coconut, a teaspoon of mustard seeds, and put around 12 curry leaves.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Garam Masala just curry powder?

NO! It is not. They are two separate spice blends.

What is Garam Masala called in English?

A hot spice mix, usually containing ground coriander, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and pepper.

What is the difference between Masala and Garam Masala?

Masala is a generic word, while garam masala is a unique kind of spice blend.

What is the difference between Madras Curry and Garam Masala?

Madras curry powder is essentially curry powder packed with additional heat, while garam masala, on the other hand, is substantial and mostly utilized on the sub-continent.

Can Garam Masala replace Curry?

Yes, it can. It can be used interchangeably with curry powder when you want a gentle flavor.

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