Can garam masala be used as a substitute for curry powder or vice versa? Garam Masala also known as all spice powder


2 Answers 2

  1. Garam Masala and Allspice are two completely different things, per the links in this sentence.
  2. Garam Masala is often used in curries, usually as a finishing spice. However, it is not a substitute for the stronger spices needed earlier in most curry dishes, such as the ones in common "curry powder". Particularly, garam masala usually contains neither turmeric nor hot peppers, two seasonings which are generally considered essential for most "Indian curry" dishes.
  • 1
    ...um, I definitely got the impression that OP meant something like "all spices powder" - that is, the term was used as the local synonym to multi-spice powder, or general or multipurpose seasoning blends rather than "that one spice with the oddly generic name"
    – Megha
    Feb 12, 2019 at 7:23
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    @Megha I've never heard of "all spices powder" as a term for garam masala. It may indeed be a local term. However, in the rest of the Anglosphere, this could easily be confused with allspice, which is a specific spice made from allspice berries. Go into a shop in the UK for example, and ask for "all spice powder", and you are very likely to be given allspice powder.
    – Billy Kerr
    Feb 12, 2019 at 12:33
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    Megha: what Billy said. The term "all spices powder" isn't used outside India. Heck, I lived in Nepal, and it's not even used there.
    – FuzzyChef
    Feb 12, 2019 at 17:41

You can use garam masala to make curry, but it doesn't contain everything needed for a typical curry. Other ingredients are required.

Garam masala typically contains cumin, coriander, black pepper, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf, and mace (the outer casing of nutmeg). It's a basic spice mix often used in Indian cuisine.

To turn it into a curry, you really also need to fry some garlic, ginger, and chilli at the very least. Also, the yellow colour in western style curry powders is turmeric. Don't forget to add some salt too!

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