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Essential Indian cooking ingredients – Ginger-Garlic paste from scratch

January 15, 2012

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.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. January 15, 2012 6:35 pm

    This recipe is very helpful. Thank you!

  2. January 16, 2012 12:11 am

    Thank you so much for this recipe although it is easy and straight forward I never made it. Thank you so much!

  3. rebecca permalink
    January 16, 2012 5:54 pm

    this is great i must make my own too use it all the time

  4. February 6, 2012 11:08 pm

    Wow! This looks great. I’m sure this paste can be used in many ways (which I’ll discover as I pour through your blog). 🙂

  5. February 8, 2012 1:35 pm

    I am glad you posted this since you used ginger/garlic paste in previous recipes, an ingredient which is difficult to obtain here. I need to start cooking more Indian food now!

  6. May 25, 2012 8:33 pm

    Reblogged this on The Glazed Cucumber and commented:
    Here is the recipe for the paste used in the tandoor chicken

  7. Sabera permalink
    September 4, 2012 10:41 pm

    It is nice to see that I am not the only one who makes garlic and ginger paste from scratch. It does make a world of difference in a when using this paste when cooking at home.

  8. Todd Brown permalink
    January 15, 2013 12:33 pm

    A tip that some readers may find helpful: If you happen to have a grocery store in your area that specializes in Korean food, they might sell fresh, pre-peeled garlic for a very reasonable price (like $2.00-$3.00 for a pint or so). Look for it in the refrigerator case. It saves a huge amount of hassle when preparing a batch of ginger-garlic paste, as peeling the garlic is the most time-consuming step by far. (I have also seen pre-peeled garlic offered in large, chain supermarkets, but it is mass-produced and is usually very dried out or even moldy; the stuff I buy from my Korean grocery stores seems to be processed locally and brought to the store quickly, as it is always very fresh.)

    Also, if you don’t have a food processor, an ordinary blender works fine for this.

    Sabera, I’ve just discovered your blog and am looking forward to trying some of the recipes. Thanks so much for making them available!


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