I am going to make chicken saag. I have bought garam masala powder but my recipe says that I need 5ml of garam masala paste. Can someone tell me how do I convert garam masala powder to a paste?

  • See: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/28018/…. I don't think it is a duplicate, but it is related. Bottom line is that if no one at the table is a connoisseur, you can just sub what you have. Anything you can toast and grind yourself is preferred, but don't go nuts over it.
    – Jolenealaska
    Jun 1, 2015 at 1:46

2 Answers 2


Curry pastes are just powdered blends in oil for convenience. Just use a teaspoon of powder and fry it gently in a couple of tablespoons of oil to release the flavours.

  • They're usually vinegary too. Unless you want everything to taste like vindaloo/achari, avoid supermarket jars of paste & use this method. This method is known as the bhuna method, powder in water [tomato ketchup consistency] & gently fry. It avoids burning & is easier for the beginner than boghar, using dry spices.
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 1, 2023 at 18:51

Most recipes use garam masala as a powder as opposed to a paste. It's a bit hard to say without looking at the exact recipe, but if the recipe calls for frying an onion in some oil or ghee, I would wait for the onion to get a bit of colour, add some ginger-garlic paste (a common ingredient in curry pastes) and then add in the garam masala powder (with any other dry spices) before continuing with the recipe.

Another option, especially if you have spices other than the paste in the recipe, would be to add them after the ginger-garlic paste and then add the garam masala towards the end of cooking as a finishing spice (you could also finish with a bit of garam masala even if you added it earlier).

  • Unless the recipe actually calls for it, seems odd to add a whole onion and the ginger-garlic paste? Certainly a good way to add the garam masala if the recipe already has you doing the onion and ginger-garlic paste, though.
    – Cascabel
    Jun 1, 2015 at 16:19
  • 1
    That's why I mentioned it was a bit hard to say without looking at the recipe. I added the onion there because that's how most recipes start from my experience. As for the ginger-garlic paste, Patak's lists both ginger and garlic powders in their garam masala paste.
    – NRaf
    Jun 1, 2015 at 21:13
  • I see - might be able to edit and clarify; as is it's a little unclear that the onion is merged in from the recipe but the you're suggesting the ginger-garlic paste as part of the paste.
    – Cascabel
    Jun 1, 2015 at 22:23
  • 2
    The way I make chicken or paneer Saag is that I slice onions, ginger and garlic and stir fry them till caramelized and than add them to mixer along with whole spices( Even Garam Masala can be added to it if you do not have whole spices),salt and lemon juice. I make a paste in the mixer adding little water and than that makes my garam masala paste. For saag it is essential that there are no lumps or bits in the gravy, everything needs to be in paste form. If you make a paste this way, the spices will blend beautifully and taste great. My mother taught me to do this.Hope it is of any use.
    – User56756
    Jun 4, 2015 at 0:04

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