Best Garam Masala Substitutes

It’s not unusual to be halfway through cooking a curry, only to discover one of the vital ingredients is not in your pantry.

When that ingredient is Garam Masala, you may find yourself wondering what to do. While other spice jars contain only one spice, the rich blend of Garam Masala makes it difficult to substitute.

What is Garam Masala?

Often made of whole spices which are toasted before being ground to a fine powder and mixed together.

What does Garam Masala taste like?

Aromatic and sweet, but with an undertone of earthiness. It adds an extra layer of comfort to a bowl of hot food.

The easiest substitute: Curry Powder

Curry powder can be used as a direct substitute. This is a very simple and easy switch, to quickly replace the entirety of Garam Masala in a recipe.

For South Asian authenticity: Chaat Masala or Sambar Masala

If you want to add some authenticity to a dish, an Indian spice blend is a good substitute.

In a hurry: Cumin and Allspice

A blend of cumin and allspice can go some way to replicating that Garam Masala flavor. They’re also something likely to be found in any cook's store cupboard!

If nothing else: Pumpkin spice or Ras el Hanout

A pumpkin spice mix can be used in place of Garam Masala. However, you’re probably going to want to make a few changes.

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