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Garlic and Ginger Paste

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Garlic and ginger paste is an essential ingredient for Indian recipes.

Thousands of Indian recipes call for garlic and ginger paste. It’s really just a blend of garlic and ginger as the name implies. Here you will learn everything you need to know about making garlic and ginger paste and how to use it. Whether you’re making an Indian chicken, lamb or vegetarian curry, there is a good chance you will need garlic and ginger paste so having it on hand is very convenient.

Garlic and ginger paste

About this garlic and ginger paste recipe

There aren’t many recipes that are easier to prepare than garlic and ginger paste. Just open any Indian cookbook and you will find so many recipes that call for it. This simple recipe will get you a flavourful paste that can be used often and you can make it ahead too.

What is garlic and ginger paste?

Put simply, it’s exactly what you might think. Equal amounts of garlic and ginger are blended with just enough water to make a paste.

The paste can be creamy smooth or even chunky depending on your preference or what it is you are cooking.

You can purchase paste like this in jars and frozen. Stay away from the jars though as these usually have vinegar or some other ingredients to give the paste longer life and they don’t taste or smell very nice,.

How do you use the ginger garlic paste?

When cooking it into a curry like these curry house style curries, the paste is fried in hot oil for about 30 seconds to a minute. This flavours the oil with the garlic and ginger and also cooks out the rawness.

The prepared paste is also often used in tandoori marinades. The garlic and ginger add the perfect flavour to tandoori meats, fish, paneer and veggies. It’s the traditional flavour we all know and love. 

Do you always blend equal amounts of garlic and ginger?

No. Although equal amounts of garlic and ginger will get you a perfect blend, you might want to adjust the amount of both.

You could go heavy on either the garlic or the ginger if you want to.

How long can you keep garlic and ginger paste?

The paste will keep for at least three days in the fridge. Garlic can naturally turn a bit blue when kept in the fridge. This is not a problem so don’t throw it out.

Whisking the paste should solve the colour issue but it will still taste good either way.

Can you freeze the prepared paste?

Yes! I recommend freezing it in ice cube trays. Then, once frozen, you can pour them all into a freezer bag to use whenever required.

How do you defrost frozen paste?

You can defrost your frozen paste in the microwave or just let it sit and defrost naturally.

Are there any other variations on this recipe?

Yes. Often you will find recipes calling for garlic, ginger and chilli paste.

This is really just the same thing but with chillies, to taste, thrown in. You can add your chillies of choice but I recommend using green finger chillies.

Can this recipe be upscaled or downscaled?

Yes. I have given an example recipe in the recipe card below. You can use the recipe as a guide and make as much or as little as you like.

Just blend equal amounts of garlic and ginger with enough water to make a paste and it’s ready to use it in your cooking. 

What are the benefits of garlic and ginger paste?

  1. Flavour Enhancement: Garlic and ginger paste adds a robust and aromatic flavor to dishes. It brings a distinct taste and depth to various cuisines, enhancing the overall taste profile of the dish. The combination of garlic and ginger creates a flavourful base that complements a wide range of ingredients and spices.
  2. Digestive Aid: Both garlic and ginger are known for their digestive properties. Garlic stimulates the production of digestive enzymes, helping to break down food and improve digestion. Ginger aids digestion by reducing inflammation, relieving bloating, and soothing the gastrointestinal tract. Using garlic and ginger paste in cooking can promote better digestion and alleviate digestive discomfort.
  3. Anti-inflammatory and Immune-Boosting Properties: Garlic and ginger are renowned for their potential health benefits. They contain bioactive compounds with anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce inflammation in the body. These compounds also have antioxidant effects, which can protect cells from damage caused by free radicals and support a healthy immune system.
  4. Cardiovascular Health: Garlic has been associated with potential cardiovascular benefits. It may help lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, and improve circulation. Ginger, on the other hand, may have a positive impact on blood clotting and blood sugar levels. Regular consumption of garlic and ginger paste as part of a balanced diet may contribute to cardiovascular health.
  5. Antibacterial and Antiviral Properties: Both garlic and ginger possess natural antibacterial and antiviral properties. They contain compounds that can help combat certain bacteria and viruses. Incorporating garlic and ginger paste in cooking may support the immune system and provide protection against common infections.
  6. Nutrient Content: Garlic and ginger are packed with essential nutrients. Garlic is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese, and selenium. Ginger contains vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin B6, and minerals like potassium and magnesium. Using garlic and ginger paste in recipes can provide a boost of these beneficial nutrients.

Step by step photographs.

Ingredients for garlic and ginger paste.

Get your garlic and ginger together. You can make as little or as much as you like. Remember it does freeze well.

Finely chopped garlic and ginger.

Finely or roughly chop your garlic and ginger. You could simple add finely chopped garlic and ginger to a curry but a smooth garlic ginger paste is used much more often.

Garlic and ginger paste.

Add just enough water to blend your garlic and ginger into a paste. You could also use a pestle and mortar.

Pro Tips

  1. Fresh and Quality Ingredients: Start by using fresh and high-quality garlic cloves and ginger root. Look for firm bulbs of garlic without any soft spots or mold. Choose ginger that is firm, smooth, and free from wrinkles. Fresher ingredients will yield a more potent and flavorful paste. Organic options can be preferred to avoid potential pesticide residue.
  2. Proper Ratio and Blending Technique: Maintaining the right ratio of garlic to ginger is important for achieving a balanced flavor in the paste. I usually use a 50/50 blend of both. Peel the garlic cloves and ginger, then chop them into smaller pieces to ease the blending process.
  3. Storage and Preservation: To preserve the freshness and flavour of the garlic and ginger paste, you should store it in an airtight container or small glass jars. Drizzle a thin layer of oil on top of the paste to create a protective barrier against oxidation. This will help extend its shelf life.

Refrigeration is recommended to maintain the quality and prevent any spoilage. The paste can typically be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. If you want to prolong its shelf life, freezing is an option. Portion the paste into small containers or ice cube trays, freeze them, and then transfer to a freezer bag for easy usage. Frozen garlic and ginger paste can last for several months.


Yield: 15 tbsp

Garlic & Ginger Paste

Garlic and ginger paste
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 135g (1 cup) peeled garlic, roughly chopped
  • 135g (1 cup) peeled ginger, roughly chopped
  • Water as needed


  1. Prepare your roughly chopped garlic and ginger. You can either leave the skin on or off. It’s up to you. I find the garlic and ginger skin adds flavour but the skin is usually removed for appearance.
  2. Place the garlic and ginger in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar and grind with just enough water to make a smooth paste.
  3. Use as required. Store in the fridge for up to three days or freeze in small portions. It is worth noting that finely chopped garlic and ginger will achieve an equally good flavour.


The amount of water needed to blend your garlic and ginger paste depends on your blender. Just add enough to assist blending.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

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See how easy it is to make garlic and ginger paste! You will be so much happier with your curries when you take a little time to make your own homemade garlic and ginger paste. 


Steve S

Monday 22nd of August 2016

Hi Dan

If I used oil instead of water and then kept it in an air tight container, how long do you think it would keep in the fridge?



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