The Best Garam Masala Powder Substitutes

The Best Garam Masala Powder Substitutes

If you need a substitute of garam masala that will offer the same flavor as garam masala, then try one of these substitutes.

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Garam masala is a mixture of different spices like; cumin, coriander, ginger, cloves, cardamom, etc. It’s one of the core ingredients used all over India and even in the whole of South Asia. Curry lovers can’t get enough of this Indian spice, but what will you do if suddenly you realize that you are low on the garam masala, and you need to cook food now. Don’t worry; I will tell you some garam masala powder substitute that you can use.

Garam Masala Powder Substitute

Garam masala powder gets prepared by mixing over 20 to 30 ingredients. First, you need to toast all those ingredients to get all the oil away, and then, once they are all roasted, you need to ground them together to get a perfect Garam masala. Storing it in an airtight container is also important, so don’t forget to do that. If you do it yourself at home, it can come out as expensive and even cause a lot of hassle that you don’t want to deal with while cooking.

Everyone has their own garam masala powder substitute that they like to use. So there can be many different ways to substitute your garam masala, and we will see some of them here. Some mix-up spices, some get the spice blends, some try with a different ingredient, etc. So here are some of those garam masala powder substitutes.

Masala curry powder

If you don’t have enough spices in your kitchen and have some curry powder, that could also work as an excellent garam masala powder substitute. Masala curry powder also has the essential garam masala ingredients. Even though it won’t give you the same taste, still masala curry powder will provide you with a feeling closer to the garam masala.


Allspice is an excellent substitute for your garam masala powder; it also is known as new spice, Jamaica pepper, etc. The fact about allspice is that it’s a fruit that comes in color green when freshly picked, and when you dry it in the sun, the fruit turns into this large black peppercorn shape, which works as a fantastic spice. The spice will give you an excellent garam masala replacement once you try it.

Allspice is an excellent substitute for your garam masala powder

Chat masala

The chat masala is not the best substitute for garam masala powder, but it can do a similar job. Now I know you must be thinking most of the spices in chat masala are not even warm like spices in garam masala. I know, that’s why I said it’s not the best substitute, but it can also do a similar job as your garam masala powder.

Sambar masala

I’m sure you must have already heard of it, as this substitute is not that unknown to the world. Many people already use sambar masala as a garam masala powder substitute. It also contains some warming masalas like pepper, cardamom, and cloves, and helps add the sour taste and spicy taste in your curry, and other foods.

Spice blends

Now, if it’s not working for you, and you are looking for a quick way to get your Garam masala powder substitute. Just take three of those spices Masala curry powder, chat masala, and allspice, also put some sambar masala in it and mix them all up in a jar or bowl. All these spice blends are cooked and made with many spices, so they all won’t be a lousy substitute for your garam masala spice.

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Take all the spices and blend them

Best flavor masala

Now, if you need a substitute that will only provide you with the same flavor as garam masala, then you can use these ingredients. Take coriander, cinnamon, cumin, cloves, pepper powder, and cardamom and roast them and ground them. Once done, you will be able to get a similar spicy feel of the garam masala.

Try mixing different spices

Garam masala powder gets prepared from many other spices, so you can also use some of the spices to have a substitute for your garam masala. They can be any warm spices that you have, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, curry powder, etc. Just get as many as you can find easily and try to mix them up to get yourself homemade garam masala powder.

Also read: How To Use Garam Masala: Recipe & Benefits Of This Warm Blend Of Spices

How to prepare garam masala powder substitute at home

Like I said that mostly it could be expensive, but that goes when you try to find all those 20 to 30 spices. With this recipe, you will not have to get a lot of ingredients; the only ingredients you will need are cumin, allspice, coriander, black peppercorns, cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg.

Direction: Roast all the ingredients in a pan till they give you the roasted smell and turn light brown. Then after they are all roasted, blend them in a blender.

Roast all the ingredients in a pan till they give you the roasted smell and turn light brown

Best Indian dishes with garam masala powder

Butter chicken

What’s another way to send you weekend night? Then having an excellent meal of sweet and spicy butter chicken, people often think that butter chicken’s main ingredient is your cream that makes it taste delicious. Still, without the garam masala powder, which is the core ingredient here, you will not be able to have that spicy taste to your butter chicken.

Rajma and chana

Ask any Indian guy if they like rajma and chana without having garam masala. The answer will come in terms of no, as they both cooked in a tomato sauce gravy that needs to have garam masala powder to give it the fragrance and taste.

Chicken tikka or paneer tikka masala

If you order any tikka masala, it will get coated and covered with garam masala to give you that spicy taste you are looking for, without that your garam masala the tikka masala will not taste the best.


So like we saw how many ingredients it takes to make just one garam masala and without it, your food may not taste spicy like you want it to be. So you can use these spices, spices blends, and recipes as a fine garam masala powder substitute.

You can also experiment on your own with different spices because garam masala contains most of them already so that it won’t ruin your food. As we read, there is no single way or recipe for garam masala powder substitute, so feel free to add what you like and experiment as much as you want until you find the best alternative.

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