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What is Garam Masala? What is The Perfect Garam Masala Substitute?

Garam masala is a wonderful spice blend. It is a popular spice in Indian and South Asian cuisines. Not only helping to increase the taste of food, but garam masala is also very good for human health. Let’s learn about garam masala substitute with Battersby!

What is garam masala?

Garam masala is a traditional Indian spice. It gives a very special taste to Indian cuisine. The proof is that it is very commonly used in Indian dishes.

Garam masala often appears in Indian dishes. In Northern Indian cuisine, Garam masala is usually in powder form. Meanwhile, in South India, garam masala is usually in the form of a paste with coconut milk, vinegar or water.

garam masala substitute

Garam masala is a traditional Indian spice

What is garam masala made of?

There is no fixed recipe for this spice blend. In fact, garam masala is usually prepared to the liking of each person.

A traditional garam masala recipe usually includes certain ingredients.  It is a blend of spices like black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg and cumin-coriander powder. Whatever spices you use, you need to skillfully blend them to create the best flavor.

You can make this warming blend of spices by dry roasting the ingredients. Then grind them into powder and mix together in the right proportions.

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There is no fixed recipe for garam masala

Health benefits of garam masala

1. Improve digestion

This Indian spice mixture has the ability to improve digestion. In fact, this spice blend raises the user’s body temperature. That means it helps to increase the body’s metabolism.

As a result, garam masala helps prevent sluggish digestion and the accumulation of toxins in your body.

2. Cancer prevention

Scientists conducted a study to look at the natural anti-cancer abilities of garam masala. Specifically, they evaluated the effects of garam masala on animals in just 10 days. They discovered that this spice can naturally prevent cancer. It encourages detoxification of the body. In addition, studies have also suggested that it has the ability to reduce tumours.

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Garam masala  has the ability to reduce tumours

3. Diabetes treatment

Popular garam masala recipes all contain cinnamon. In fact, cinnamon helps reduce diabetes and lower blood sugar naturally in diabetics. Many scientific studies have proven that cinnamon can help lower blood sugar levels

In addition, it also has the ability to improve sensitivity to the hormone insulin. This is an important hormone needed to keep blood sugar levels balanced.

4. Enhance the overall health

In fact, the cinnamon ingredient in garam masala can fight some dangerous diseases. For example, it can fight Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

According to Dr Lipi Roy, no matter what recipe you make with this spice blend, it is still amazing. In addition to cinnamon, this spice contains other wonderful spices. These spices have created a magical spice blend.

5. Relieve constipation

According to an experiment, garam masala has the ability to improve digestion. The journal Tropical Gastroenterology published this experiment. Hence, there is no denying that it can relieve constipation.

View more: Dashi Substitute

Substitutes for Garam Masala

1. Curry powder – The best substitute for garam masala

It is true to say that curry powder is the best substitute for garam masala. However, it cannot give the same effect as garam masala. Curry powder is a very popular spice in Indian cuisine. 

Curry powder gives a very special flavor to the dish. Therefore, you should try to apply this spice in your recipes. However, you should adjust the amount of curry powder to suit your taste.

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Curry powder – The best substitute for garam masala

2. Allspice and cumin

By mixing these two spices in the right ratio, you will get a wonderful spice blend. The allspice and cumin mix can be a great garam masala substitute. 

You can mix allspice and cumin in different proportions. If you are a beginner, try mixing part cumin and  ¼ allspice. This mixture is a great choice when your kitchen lacks garam masala. 

Like garam masala, this blend brings great flavor to dishes. As a result, you should try to apply it to your favorite dishes. 

3. Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala is a very popular dish in India. In particular, this Indian dish can become a garam masala substitute. To make this wonderful sauce, you need to prepare the following ingredients:

  • Tomato
  • Cream
  • Chicken
  • Some traditional Indian spices

It is true to say that Chicken Tikka Masala is one of the perfect substitutes for garam masala. The proof is that a lot of people use it to make their dishes more delicious.

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Chicken Tikka Masala is a very popular dish in India 

4. Chaat masala

You can use chaat masala to substitute garam masala in most recipes. It’s well worth your consideration if you’ve just run out of garam masala. This spice is popular in the cuisines of South India. Like garam masala, chaat masala is a blend of many spices.

5. Sambhar Masala

This list would be incomplete without mentioning sambhar masala. Sambhar masala is another garam masala substitute that you cannot ignore. 

Chaat masala usually includes the following ingredients:

  • Coriander seeds
  • Cumin
  • Mustard seed
  • Dried chili
  • Cinnamon
  • Dry coconut

6. Indian butter chicken

In general, Indian butter chicken is a great alternative to garam masala. Indian butter chicken usually includes the following ingredients:

  • Lemon juice
  • Yogurt
  • Fresh ginger
  • Chicken.
  • Indian spices

From the above recipe, we found that Indian butter chicken is quite similar to tikka masala. However, their taste is not the same.

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Indian butter chicken is a great alternative to garam masala

7. Mixture of coriander, cumin and cardamom

These spices are usually used separately. However, you can combine them to create a wonderful blend. You can use this blend as a substitute for garam masala.

To create this wonderful spice blend, you can mix coriander, cumin and cardamom in the following proportions:

  • 2 teaspoons of coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom pods
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds

8. Mixture of cloves, fenugreek and cinnamon

By mixing cloves, fenugreek and cinnamon in the right proportions, you can create a wonderful spice. Thanks to that, you do not have to go to the supermarket to buy garam masala anymore. Try applying this wonderful mixture to your favorite dish.

9. Mixture of  curry leaves, mustard seeds and coconut

We will continue the list with a mixture of curry leaves, mustard seeds and coconut. To create this mixture, you should mix them in the following proportions:

  • 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of grated coconut
  • About 10 curry leaves

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is garam masala the same as chaat masala?

They are all mixtures of different spices. They are a popular spice blend for dishes, especially Indian dishes. They are interchangeable in cooking.

2. Is garam masala really necessary in cooking?

Garam masala is a spice blend that can make a dish even better. Although it’s not necessary, you should use it for your favorite food.


Hopefully, this article about “garam masala substitute” is useful for you. Garam masala is a magical mixture of dishes, isn’t it? Are you ready to use it for your favorite dishes?

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