Best 8 ginger garlic paste substitutes for authentic taste


peeled ginger and garlic on wooden board
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If you’ve ever had a chance to cook Indian food, you’ve likely experienced delicious dishes containing ginger and garlic paste. That’s because this paste is the most used in the world of Indian and Asian dishes. But what if you don’t have any on hand. What is the substitute for ginger and garlic paste? I was wondering the same thing and wrote about my discoveries.

What are the best substitutes for ginger and garlic paste:
Ginger paste substitutes:

  1. Fresh minced ginger
  2. Galangal
  3. Fingerroot
  4. Green ginger

Garlic paste substitutes:

  1. Fresh minced garlic to use instead of garlic paste
  2. Garlic powder
  3. Garlic flakes
  4. Garlic greens or garlic sprouts

ginger and garlic paste frozen cubes

What are Ginger garlic paste benefits

Benefits of ginger garlic paste in the kitchen

Ginger and garlic paste is well known for many benefits. One could argue that it is the most beneficial in the kitchen, but it also provides many benefits in the body healing process.

Many well known Indian dishes are made with ginger and garlic paste. With its delicate aroma and taste, it is a necessary ingredient in many western culinary dishes. Some of the most well-known dishes are curry, chicken tikka masala, palak paneer, and many others. Its unique taste lifts the dish and adds a bit of spiciness. 

Ginger and garlic together form a perfect paste for sauces and stir-fries. But when looking at them separately, they can simply uplift the dish.

Ginger is one of those spices that adds something unique to the dish. Just imagine gingerbread cookies or refreshing ginger juice or ginger ale, they just wouldn’t be the same without ginger. Ginger’s domination in a dish is delightful and can satisfy anyone. 

On the other hand, garlic has a powerful pungent flavor. Its always better to cook the garlic in a dish before serving it. The cooking process softens the flavor and enhances the taste of the entire meal. Cooks use it in stir-fries, meat, and vegetable dishes. It is also very popular on baked or roasted bread and especially on fish dishes. The downside of garlic is bad breath, but it is worth paying the price. 

ginger and garlic on wooden board

Benefits of ginger garlic paste in everyday wellbeing

You can literary call ginger and garlic paste a healer. It has tones of benefits if you consume it separately or as a paste. What are the 8 best benefits of ginger and garlic paste:

  1. Bolster the immune system
  2. Helps with motion and sickness
  3. Improves blood flow
  4. Promotes respiratory health
  5. It prevents cold (Anti-viral)
  6. Lowers blood pressure
  7. Antibacterial and anti-fungal
  8. Lower cholesterol

Ginger and garlic paste nutritional breakdown

(Nutritional information from USDA)

Ginger and garlic paste 1 Tbsp
Carbs 3 g
Dietary fiber 1 g
Sugar 0 g
Fat 1 g
Saturated 0 g
Polyunsaturated 0 g
Monounsaturated 0 g
Trans 0 g
Protein 1 g
Sodium 100 mg
Potassium 0 mg
Cholesterol 0 mg
Vitamin A 0 %
Vitamin C 0 %
Calcium 0 %
Iron 0 %

*Percentages are based on a diet of 2000 calories a day.

What recipes use ginger and garlic paste?

Many recipes use ginger and garlic paste, and each contains unique ingredients depending on the tastes of the cook. However, the one ingredient almost every recipe will have in common is the ginger and garlic paste. 

Ginger and garlic paste is the key ingredient in curry dishes like chicken curry and other dishes like korma, dal, tikka masala, or Asian stir fry dishes. 

Usually, meat or vegetables are marinated with ginger and garlic paste and other spices. It is also mostly used in the process of caramelization when onions are fried with oil, and in the end, ginger and garlic paste is added.

Why do we need ginger and garlic paste substitute

While ginger and garlic paste is a must-have for Indian or Asian dishes, we don’t always have it on hand, especially if we make it ourselves at home. Many supermarkets offer it, but we don’t always have the time to pick it up. 

This can pose a problem if you want to make a dish whose main ingredient is ginger and garlic. However, there are several other options that you can use as a substitute for ginger and garlic paste that will ensure your dish is just as delicious as if you’d used the real thing.

Fresh minced ginger – substitute for ginger in ginger garlic paste

Overview

Minced ginger is the closest substitute you could use to replace ginger in the ginger garlic paste, as it is the same thing just not combined with the garlic. If you mince fresh ginger, the dish’s taste will be even more pungent and spicy aroma. 

To mince it, just peel the peel off and grate it with a grater. The best grater for grating ginger is a box grater. It is best because it is sturdy. Ginger is a root, so you will need to press very hard to grate the ginger. If you don’t get fresh ginger in the store, it can be very fibrous, making the grating even harder. Some graters might also bend in the grating process because of the pressure. 

Grated ginger will release a lot of juices. Do not discard these juices but incorporate them into the dish. 

If you grate too much, you can always store it in the refrigerator for a few days, whereas ungrated ginger can be stored in the fridge for up to three weeks. The other option is freezing. Place the grated ginger in an ice cube mold, freeze them, and use one by one whenever you need it. 

peeled ginger and garlic on wooden board

Nutrition breakdown

(Nutritional information from USDA)

Ginger 1oz
Carbs 5 g
Diatery fiber 0 g
Sugar 0 g
Fat 0 g
Saturated 0 g
Polyunsaturated 0 g
Monounsaturated 0 g
Trans 0 g
Protein 0 g
Sodium 3 mg
Potassium 117 mg
Cholesterol 0 mg
Vitamin A 0 %
Vitamin C 2 %
Calcium 0 %
Iron 0 %

Galangal – substitute for ginger in ginger garlic paste

Overview

Both galangal and ginger belong to the Rhizomes family. It is a knobby underground stem that has pungent and flavorful flesh. It is usually a substitute for ginger and can be used in various Asian dishes. In the same family are also turmeric and cardamom but do not use them as a substitute for ginger. 

Galangal is also called Thai ginger or Siamese ginger because the taste and structure are very similar to ginger. It is mostly found in Indonesian or Thai cooking, but you can, by all means, replace it with ginger. 

The process of the grating is much harder than with ginger. It is best to cut it to slices and mix it with a food processor to get the paste-like texture. 

It is more difficult to find fresh galangal in your nearby store. You can easily find it in your local Asian store. Since it’s origin is the far west, it will be harder to find fresh ginger. That is why it is always best to buy frozen galangal as it will retain a lot of its original characteristics.

Fingerroot – substitute for ginger in ginger garlic paste

Overview

Fingerroot, also know as Chinese ginger has a much sharper flavor than ginger. It is also used in traditional medicine with its many positive effects on the body (antioxidant, anticancer, wound healing…)

It is tough to find it fresh fingerroot, but you can get it in a jar. Its either preserved in a brined whole or julienned. If you use a fingerroot instead of ginger, the flavor will be a bit more different. The taste when using a fingerroot wouldn’t be the same as adding ginger, but it will still be good. 

Suppose you do get fresh fingerroot slice it into thin slices and use it in a dish you are making. You can also blend it with some water and strain it through a muslin cloth, and only use the juices.

Green ginger – substitute for ginger in ginger garlic paste

Overview

Green ginger is also known as baby ginger or spring ginger. It is a close relative to ginger. The tips of this ginger are pink. The skin is much thinner than on ginger, so it doesn’t need to be peeled. You can simply grate it with a peel on. 

The taste is much milder, which will make the dish less aromatic. Green ginger is easy to find in Asian markets fresh or in a jar.

Fresh minced garlic – substitute for garlic in ginger garlic paste

Overview

Minced garlic is the closest substitute you could use for the replacement of garlic in the ginger garlic paste, as it is the same thing just not combined with the ginger. If you mince fresh garlic, the dish’s taste will be stronger than if you use ginger and garlic paste. 

Peel it first before mincing. You can mince or make a paste of garlic with a chef’s knife or a garlic press. If you use a garlic press, simply squeeze it, and a fine mesh will come out of the press. If the consistency is not to your desire, you can always mash it further with a side of the knife. The disadvantage with a press is that you will have a little garlic stuck inside the press, and cleaning the press is a pain.

If you mince it with a knife, place the garlic on a cutting boar dan cut it finely with a chef’s knife. Sprinkle some kosher salt on the chopped garlic. The salt will act like an abrasive and start to break down the garlic. Then with a side of a knife, start to mesh the garlic by pressing it into the cutting board. Garlic will start to get shiny, which is the oil getting out of the garlic, and after just a couple of crushes, the chunks of garlic will be gone. 

Nutrition breakdown

Garlic 1 clove
Carbs 0 g
Diatery fiber 0 g
Sugar 0 g
Fat 0 g
Saturated 0 g
Polyunsaturated 0 g
Monounsaturated 0 g
Trans 0 g
Protein 0 g
Sodium 0 mg
Potassium 12 mg
Cholesterol 0 mg
Vitamin A 0 %
Vitamin C 0 %
Calcium 5 %
Iron 0 %

Garlic powder – substitute for garlic in ginger garlic paste

Overview

Garlic powder is made from dehydrated garlic, making it a very close substitute for garlic. You always need to add less garlic powder then fresh garlic into your dish. Substitute 1/8 teaspoon powder for every clove of garlic called for in the recipe.

If you use garlic powder as a substitute for the ginger garlic paste, don’t also use powdered ginger, as powdered ginger is not a substitute for fresh ginger.

You can make your own garlic powder, but it is much easier to buy it in a store.

Just like fresh garlic, garlic powder also has its health benefits. It is very nutritious with many medical benefits. 

Garlic flakes – substitute for garlic in ginger garlic paste

Overview

A closer relative to garlic powder or garlic granules is garlic flakes. Garlic flakes are dehydrated pieces of garlic. They are more coarse than garlic powder but include the same nutrient and taste benefits. 

The product is more expensive than garlic salt because it is not diluted with salt. You can use it in many dishes, even ginger and garlic paste to substitute it instead of garlic.

To measure the equivalent amounts for the substitutions, the measurements are:

2 teaspoons garlic flakes = 1 teaspoon garlic granules = 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 clove garlic = 1/2 teaspoon garlic flakes = 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder

Garlic greens or garlic sprouts – substitute for garlic in ginger garlic paste

Overview

Garlic greens or garlic sprouts are a part of a garlic plant. They are the above the ground flat leaves above the bulb. 

Garlic leaves are green in the early growth stage, but when it’s time to harvest, these leaves turn brown and are completely dried out.

Garlic greens don’t have a strong taste as plain garlic. But since they grow from the garlic bulb, the flavor is milder and similar. When picking garlic leaves, harvest a few leaves at a time to allow for continued production.

The substitution for garlic in the ginger garlic paste is possible, but you need to add more than if you would add garlic, and the color will be different since garlic is white, and the greens are, well, green. One way to add them to the dish is to fry them together with onions and oil, which will make the flavor even richer. 

The conclusion

Ginger and garlic paste is prevalent in many dishes, especially those that are expected to put out a ton of flavor. The only issue is that substitutes for ginger are harder to find than substitutions for garlic. That’s why having a few alternatives can be a great idea, especially if you frequently cook with ginger and garlic paste. Our selection of substitutes ranges from the variety of options that you can easily find in your local Asian market.

Sources:

Food data and conversions https://tools.myfooddata.com/nutrition-facts.php

Best ginger garlic paste substitutes

Rok Jurca

I am a kind of person that would sneak a taste out of grandma’s pot when I was barely tall enough to reach it. I grew up in kitchens full of love and liveliness and have spent my whole live learning, experimenting and succeeding in the art of cooking. At Pro Family Chef, every day is an opportunity for a new meal and a brand new flavor. I created this website to connect people that love to cook, with the products designed to make their cooking easier, hassle-free and rewarding every time.

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