Garam Masala Substitutes

Garam Masala Substitutes

This article provides an overview of garam masala, what it tastes like, its availability, alternative names, and of course what other ingredients make garam masala substitutes.

What is Garam Masala?

Garam masala is a blend of ground spices originating in India. It is commonly used in Indian, Nepalese, Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Sri Lankan foods. In each country, the composition slightly differs and no recipe is considered more authentic than the other. The typical ingredients include fennel, bay leaves, peppercorns, cinnamon, mace, cardamom pods, coriander seeds, chili powder and cumin.

What does Garam Masala taste like?

Garam masala adds a sweet, floral, warm taste to foods. It is usually toasted which brings out the flavors and aromas even more. It is not necessarily spicy and some variations, especially from the north of India do not even include chili, where the biggest hints of spice come from the black pepper.

Is Garam Masala readily available in Supermarkets?

Although garam masala is not as popular as other spices, it should still be available in supermarkets. It will usually be found in the spices aisle.

What are some alternative names for Garam Masala?

Garam masala originates from the Hindu term garm masala, which translates to ‘hot spices’.

What is a good substitute for Garam Masala in recipes?

Luckily, there are a number of great substitutes for garam masala. These include:

  • The best substitute for garam masala would be cumin mixed with allspice
  • You can also use
    • Curry Powder
    • Pumpkin Spice Blend
    • Chaat Masala