Step by Step Guide – Homemade Ginger Garlic Paste

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If you’re looking for a way to speed up your cooking process, you’ll love this easy recipe for homemade ginger garlic paste. With just a few minutes of prep, you can create a big batch to keep in your refrigerator or freezer. It’s a lifesaver for busy days when you want to whip up delicious Indian meals quickly.

Glass bottle with ginger garlic paste and with a knob of ginger, salt and garlic cloves on the side
Homemade Ginger Garlic Paste

In the fragrant kitchens of Indian cooking, a jar of ginger garlic paste is as crucial as salt. It’s the heart of many Indian recipes and is used in the base of many curries, dals, and side dishes. Usually, both these ingredients are peeled and then minced using a mortar and pestle before adding them to sauteed onions to make the curry. 

Both ginger and garlic not only enhance the flavor of dishes but are also known for their medicinal properties. From helping with digestion to preventing cold, the benefits of this paste are many. 

When we talk about meal-prepping Indian food, one of the easiest ways to save time is to have a bottle of garlic ginger paste in the refrigerator or freezer. You can always use store-bought, but the ones I have used had a metallic taste, possibly because of the preservatives, and that’s why I don’t like them. 

Fortunately, this ginger garlic paste recipe is really easy to make. You can make a big batch, and it lasts in the freezer forever. 

For more meal prep hacks such as this garlic paste, and ginger paste, check out – Indian meal prep recipes.

How to pick ginger and garlic

Choosing the right ingredients is crucial when making ginger garlic paste. Here’s a guide to picking the best ginger and garlic for your paste:

Selecting Ginger

  • Check for freshness: The ginger should have a firm texture, a smooth surface, and without wrinkling or blemish. Fresh ginger root typically has a thin skin that scrapes off easily.
  • Organic option: Opt for organic ginger roots if available; they’re known for their strong and pungent flavor.

Choosing Garlic

  • Firm to touch: Garlic bulbs should be firm, with the cloves intact. Squeeze the bulb gently – it should feel solid and not give under pressure.
  • Color: Look for a bulb with bright, white skin. Some varieties may have a purple hue, which is also acceptable, but avoid any brown discoloration.
  • Avoid sprouted ones: If you see green shoots emerging from the top of the cloves, the garlic is past its prime and will have a bitter taste.
  • Aroma: Good garlic should smell fresh and pungent. If there’s no scent or an off smell, it’s best to choose another bulb.

How to make and store ginger garlic paste

To make this paste, you need 4 ingredients – ginger, garlic, oil, and salt. You can find these ingredients easily in your local grocery stores or any Indian store.

Ingredient notes/swaps

  • Fresh Garlic – Buy peeled garlic to save time on peeling.
  • Ginger, rinsed, and peeled – You can leave organic ginger unpeeled. Scrub the ginger off any dirt and rinse with water before using it.
  • Oil or water for a smoother puree – I prefer using avocado oil since it doesn’t have a strong flavor. Adding water while making the paste may cause water to spit when frying, and it also reduces shelf life.
  • Salt – Along with oil, acts as a natural preservative.

Be sure to check out the full recipe and ingredient list below.

Before we jump to the recipe, let’s talk about the ratio of ginger to garlic in this homemade paste. You can use both in a 1:1 ratio, but I prefer to use about 25% more garlic than ginger, especially if I am using organic ginger since it is more potent.

My 2 cents – no need to get worked up about the exact ratio; just eyeball it such that the amount of garlic is more than ginger, and you should be fine. 

An overhead shot of garlic cloves, ginger, oil and salt
Ginger Garlic Paste Ingredient Ratio

Tools needed

Ginger-garlic paste: a step-by-step guide

  1. Peel the ginger and chop it into 1-2 inch pieces (makes it easier to blend). 
  2. Peel the skin of the garlic or buy store-bought peeled garlic (which is what I do).
  3. Toss the ingredients into the blender jar or food processor along with oil and salt and grind them to a fine paste.  

Note:  An alternate way to make ginger and garlic paste is to grind and store them separately. That way, if a recipe calls only for ginger, such as this coconut chutney, then you have it handy. 

That’s it! Your budget-friendly, better-than-store-bought homemade ginger-garlic paste is ready.

But before you rush off to make some of your own ginger garlic paste, I would recommend you read the sections below that cover tips/tricks and storage instructions. 

Tips and Tricks

  1. Peeling ginger:
    • Peeling is optional if using organic ginger—rinse well before use.
    • A straight peeler is effective for removing only the skin and preserving the flesh.
  2. Peeling garlic:
    • Place 3-4 cloves in a mortar and tap with the pestle to loosen the skins for easy peeling.
    • Cutting the tips off the garlic cloves is optional.
  3. Preparing ginger for blending:
    • Cut ginger into small pieces to facilitate easier blending and to protect blender blades.
  4. Increasing shelf life of the paste:
    • Use oil instead of water to grind the paste, which acts as a preservative and helps maintain color.
    • Always use a clean, dry spoon when scooping paste from the container.
  5. Using frozen paste:
    • Do not thaw frozen ginger garlic paste cubes; use them directly.
    • Return any unused cubes to the freezer promptly to preserve quality.

Note: The sulfur compounds in garlic get activated when it is crushed or minced. If it is not immediately used, it reacts with air and turns green in color. However, it is still edible. Don’t throw away your paste if it turns green, which shouldn’t happen if you use the recommended amount of oil in this recipe. 

Storage instructions 

Alright, now that we have this large batch ready, let’s make sure we store it properly so that it lasts for at least 3-4 months. If you have added oil and salt to the paste, your paste can last as long as 6 months in the freezer. Let’s find out how. 

How do you preserve ginger garlic paste at home?

  1. Store in the refrigerator in an air-tight glass container for about 7-10 days.
  2. To preserve for 3-4 months, transfer the ginger garlic paste to an ice cube tray (preferably with a lid to avoid freezer burn), making sure to leave some space for expansion.
  3. Once frozen, transfer it to a freezer bag like Ziploc or a reusable storage bag and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months.

I use this silicone ice-cube tray to freeze the paste. It has a capacity for about 2 teaspoons per crevice but I fill around 1.5 teaspoons to give room for the paste to expand.

Ginger Garlic paste stored in ice cube tray
Storing Ginger Garlic Paste

How long does homemade ginger garlic paste last?

If you have used oil and salt while making ginger garlic paste, it easily lasts in the refrigerator for 7-10 days, if not more, and for about 6 months in the freezer.

How to make ginger garlic paste without a blender

While not the most efficient and fast way, you can always use a mortar/pestle to make ginger garlic paste in small batches. 

Is it necessary to add oil to ginger garlic paste?

Using oil not only helps grind the ginger garlic into a smooth paste but also helps preserve it. You can always replace it with water.

A hand holding a piece of frozen ginger garlic paste
Frozen Ginger Garlic Paste

How to use ginger garlic paste

Depending on how you have stored the paste (refrigerator or freezer), there are two ways to use the paste – 

Refrigerated paste – I use 1 tablespoon of this ginger garlic paste for dal recipes and about 2 tablespoons for curries like rajma (kidney beans curry) and chole (chickpeas curry). Note: Remember, this paste is not cooked, so don’t forget to sauté it for a minute or two to get rid of the raw taste. 

Frozen cubes – I use this ice cube tray and add about 1.5 teaspoons in each crevice. Two of those frozen cubes make one tablespoon. So use 3-4 cubes for curries and about 2 for dals. No need to thaw them before using them. 

This paste is not just an essential condiment for Indian dishes but across all Asian cuisines. It is also used for marinating meats, enhancing vegetable stir-fries, and starting off curries.

Here are some of my favorite recipes where I rely on homemade ginger garlic paste for flavor – 

  1. Langarwali dal – Satisfy your soul and your stomach with this flavor-filled langarwali dal – a creamy mixed lentil curry that cooks effortlessly in the Instant Pot. Pair it with jeera rice or cumin rice for a complete gastronomic experience. 
  2. Restaurant-Style Dal Makhani – You’ve got to try this creamy and delicious Punjabi lentil curry that graces the menus of Indian restaurants worldwide. Learn how to replicate the flavors of this traditionally slow-cooked curry quickly in an Instant Pot. 
  3. Instant Pot Rajma masala – Use your pressure cooker or Instant Pot to make this quick & delicious Dhaba-style Punjabi rajma masala. While you can serve it with rotis, the combination of rajma and chawal (rice) is what makes this dish truly special.
  4. Tadka dal – One-pot recipes are the best! That’s why you’ll love this Tadka dal (tempered dal) recipe – make it in an Instant Pot or a pressure cooker – and you’ll have your meal ready in no time.
  5. Chana masala – This vegan one-pot curry can be made in an Instant Pot as well as a stovetop Pressure cooker. Get all the deets on how to make this delicious curry at home!
Did you enjoy this recipe or have a question?Please leave a comment below. Don’t forget to rate!
Glass bottle with ginger garlic paste and with a knob of ginger, salt and garlic cloves on the side
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Homemade Ginger Garlic Paste Recipe

Whip up a large batch of homemade ginger garlic paste in minutes! Store it in the fridge or freezer to shorten future meal prep, it is ideal for quickly preparing Indian dishes on busy days.
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Blending time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 32 tablespoons

Ingredients
  

  • 0.5 lbs (250 gms) ginger peeled and chopped
  • 0.75 lbs (350 gms) garlic cloves peeled
  • 3 tbsp avocado oil or oil of your choice
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions
 

  • Peel and chop the ginger into 1 to 2-inch pieces.
  • Add chopped ginger, garlic, oil, and salt to a blender. Grind to a fine paste. Make it in batches, if needed. Note – If you are having trouble blending it, feel free to add a few teaspoons of oil to help the process.

Storage Instructions

  • Store in the refrigerator in an air-tight glass container for about 7-10 days.
  • To preserve for up to 6 months, transfer the ginger garlic paste to an ice-cube tray. Don't fill it to the brim – make sure to leave about 1/4th inch of space for expansion.
  • Once frozen, pop the cubes out and transfer it to a Ziploc or a silicone bag and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Notes

Note:  There’s an alternate way to make ginger and garlic paste. Just grind and store them separately. That way, if a recipe calls for only garlic paste, such as garlic bread, then you have it handy. 
Read the post…For helpful information on ingredient swaps, storage tips, meal prep ideas, and variations!

Disclaimer: Approximate nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tablespoonCalories: 33kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 75mgPotassium: 72mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 1mg
Diet: Dairy-free, Gluten-free
Course: Basics
Method: Blender
Keywords: Authentic, budget-friendly, easy, homemade
Cuisine: Indian

This post was originally written on August 28, 2020, and was republished with additional information on Dec 15, 2023.

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2 Comments

  1. Hi.. How to store home made ginger garlic paste in glass jars at room temperature without fridge.