Essential Indian cooking ingredients – Ginger-Garlic paste from scratch
My mother is in the habit of making every ingredient she uses in her cooking from scratch. In recent years, while she has ‘outsourced’ a few items such as paneer (cottage cheese) and a few spices from local stores in Mumbai, for the most part, she uses from-scratch ingredients. One important ingredient she makes at home is the ginger-garlic paste.
Ginger-Garlic paste is an essential ingredient in North Indian cooking and is used to put together curries and sabzis. The place where I have personally found it most useful is in meat marinades; as ginger is a tenderizer, having the paste on hand helps put together a quick marinade for a non-vegetarian dish. If you’ve been following OneLifeToEat, almost all my recipes use this paste.
Many of my friends use ready made ginger-garlic paste available at all Indian grocery stores (and I did too for a while). However, those pastes tend to have a lot of preservatives as well as sodium in them. The biggest advantage of making this paste at home, is controlling exactly what goes into my food. It’s really quick to make and a little goes a long way.
The one thing that held me back from making my own ginger-garlic paste at home, was the lack of appropriate implements. Now that I have a very good Cuisinart grinder, the first thing I did with it was to make my own ginger-garlic paste. Here’s how you make it:
- 1lb garlic, peeled
- 1lb ginger peeled
- 2 tbsp good quality olive oil, or any vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 1/4 tsp salt
Blend all the above ingredients until it is a well-ground paste. Add 2-3 teaspoons of water if necessary, to loosen the solids in the blender. Store in sterilized glass jar in the fridge. This paste should easily last you a couple months.