Skip to Content

Recipes Using Garam Masala

Are you curious about how to use garam masala? You’re in luck! We’ve compiled some of our favorite recipes using garam masala and they are just as mouth-watering as they look. Even just a pinch of this warm spice will take your dish to the next level.

A cover image for Recipes Using Garam Masala.

What is Garam Masala?

Garam masala combines whole spices that are toasted and ground, which is where the spice blend gets its name, “hot spice,” or garam masala. I know what you might be thinking- is it spicy? Not at all. Instead, hot spice is a nod to the warming process of toasting whole spices to draw out the flavor and aroma before grinding them.

Recipes Using Garam Masala

Garam masala is a staple in South Asian cuisine to flavor everything from meat to vegetables, lentils, chickpeas, and even dessert. I’ve compiled some incredible meals that highlight the delicious spice blend!

1. Grilled Tandoori Chicken

Grilled tandoori chicken with onion, cilantro, and raita.

Grilled tandoori chicken is juicy on the inside while maintaining a nice char on the outside, and it has all the eye-catching colors you’d expect. My recipe is coated in a homemade tandoori marinade and flavored with fresh ground spices like garam masala.

Once you’ve made it, check out my ideas for what to serve with tandoori chicken.

2. Chana Chicken

Chana chicken with rice.

Chana chicken is a tasty one-pot dish featuring succulent pieces of chicken and hearty chickpeas for a healthy and satisfying meal ready in an hour.

3. Moong Dal Instant Pot Recipe

A single serving of Moong Dal with long-grained basmati rice.

Sit down with a piping hot bowl of our moong dal Instant Pot recipe and basmati rice; it’s soothing, filling, tasty, and ready in about an hour. The flavorful dish features yellow lentils with sautéed garlic, ginger, tomatoes, and warm, fragrant spices like fresh garam masala for an easy dinner idea you will love. 

4. Mushroom Masala

Mushroom masala curry in a bowl with roti, onions, and green peppers in the background.
Photo Credit: Profusion Curry

Rich and creamy, Indian mushroom curry is a flavorful meal that comes together in 20 minutes!

5. Butter Chicken Masala

Butter chicken masala over basmati rice and garnished with chopped cilantro.

Tender pieces of chicken simmer in a robust, fragrant, and creamy curry to make easy butter chicken masala. The result is a mouthwatering meal perfect for a cozy night at home or a dinner party with friends.

6. Punjabi Shahi Paneer

Shahi paneer served with fresh naan.
Photo Credit: The Sassy Foodie

Punjabi shahi paneer has a flavorful masala consisting of cashews, tomato passata, and warming spices like garam masala.

7. Easy Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken tikka masala served over rice and garnished with cilantro.
Photo Credit: Sugar and Soul

Easy chicken tikka masala is a delicious British Indian recipe with a rich and creamy tomato curry sauce loaded with bold spices and chicken.

8. Paneer Butter Masala

Paneer Butter Masala with naan in the background.
Photo Credit: Cook with Kushi

Restaurant-style paneer butter masala or paneer makhani is a popular Indian dish that is rich, creamy, and delicious, prepared using ingredients like butter, onion, tomatoes, paneer, and ground spices like garam masala.

9. Instant Pot Chicken Biryani

Chicken biryani in a serving dish.

Instant Pot chicken biryani cooks in one hour and combines chicken, long-grained basmati rice, caramelized onion, and warm spices! Treat yourself to mouth-watering biryani without setting aside most of your day to make it. Or you can try chicken tikka biryani!

10. Saag Paneer

Saag paneer served over rice and garnished with fresh onion and lime.
Photo Credit: Masala and Chai

Saag paneer features a unique ingredient, Swiss chard. It combines with lightly-spiced greens and fried paneer to make a savory meal.

11. Slow-Roasted Salmon Sandwiches

Two slow-roasted salmon sandwiches being drizzled with mustard sauce.
Photo Credit: Champagne Tastes

This slow-roasted spiced salmon sandwiches are made with spiced salmon, an apple slaw, and an easy mustard sauce spiked with garam masala.

Searching for More Like This?

If you enjoy these recipes using garam masala, check out one of these spice blend favorites.

12. Authentic Chana Masala Recipe

Channa Masala in a serving bowl topped with chopped cilantro.

Our authentic chana masala recipe cooks in a spiced tomato-based curry consisting of onions, ginger, garlic, green chiles, and cilantro.

13. Coconut Lamb Curry

A close-up image of coconut lamb curry topped with cilantro.
Photo Credit: Cooked and Loved

Enjoy this hearty, warm lamb curry with coconut milk and Indian spices. It’s perfect with a bowl of fluffy rice.

14. Kashmiri Mutton Rogan Josh

Rogan Josh in a bowl topped with chopped cilantro.
Photo Credit: Yellow Daal

Kashmiri mutton rogan josh is an aromatic curry known for its deep red color and the distinct taste of signature spices.

15. Tandoori Chicken Tikka

Finished tandoori chicken tikka on the skewers.

Restaurant-quality tandoori chicken tikka is easy to make on the grill. It’s healthy, tasty, and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

16. Lamb Vindaloo

Lamb vindaloo topped with cream, cilantro, and onions.
Photo Credit: Peel with Zeal

Spicy lamb vindaloo recipe is a curry from the Goan region of India. It’s made with spices, dried chiles, and vinegar.

17. Chocolate Garam Masala Cookies

Chocolate garam masala cookies garnished with sugar.
Photo Credit: Food Trails

Chocolate garam masala cookies feature an unlikely combination of ingredients. Garam masala and rich chocolate pair up to create an indulgent dessert you’ll crave.

18. Aloo Keema

Aloo keema in a serving bowl.

Treat yourself to authentic, one-pot Pakistani aloo keema, a delicious combination of seasoned ground beef and tender potatoes sautéed in a rich blend of tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, and lots of spice. I serve the easy, homestyle meal with naan, roti, or basmati rice.

19. Chana Saag

Fresh chana saag in a serving bowl.
Photo Credit: Spice Up the Curry

This delicious chana saag is a vegan dish brimming with Indian flavors and loaded with greens. It’s hearty and filling, thanks to the protein-rich chickpeas.

20. Kaleji Recipe

Our kaleji recipe pairs well with paratha.

My kaleji recipe is perfect for events and gatherings like Bakra Eid. The beef liver simmers in onion, ginger, and garlic masala. Serve it as is or with fresh bread like paratha, naan, or roti. If you’re on the fence about liver, that’s okay; this is the most delicious way to eat the nutrient-dense protein. For another variation, try chicken kaleji!

21. Instant Pot Black Dal

Instant Pot black dal with a spoon scooping it out and an Instant Pot and naan in the background.
Photo Credit: Instant Pot Eats

Inspired by the famous black dal at Dishoom restaurant in London, this Instant Pot dal makhani recipe is rich and creamy, yet it takes a fraction of the time of the original.

22. Indian Eggplant Curry

Indian eggplant curry on a plate and garnished with nuts and cilantro with rice in the background.
Photo Credit: Our Plant Based World

A carefully balanced blend of our favorite spices and seasonings come together to create this eggplant curry dish. It is the simplest way to enjoy your favorite vegetables!

23. Paya Soup

A bowl of paya soup topped with fresh cilantro.

Paya soup is popular for its health benefits and is perfect for colder months. For this recipe, stew beef trotters and bones into a soothing broth and serve it with warmly-spiced baghar to make paya. You can also use goat to make mutton paya soup.

24. Healthy Samosas

Samosas on a wire racks.
Photo Credit: Urban Farmie

The perfect, healthy Indian samosa recipe are made with six simple pantry ingredients for a healthy and delicious side dish.

25. Indian-Spiced Shepherd’s Pie

Indian-spiced shepherd's pie in a casserole dish.
Photo Credit: Every Little Crumb

Shepherd’s pie with a twist, this is a deliciously comforting combination of spiced mince topped with creamy golden mashed potatoes. You’ll never go back to traditional pie again!

Serving Suggestions

Okay, so you’ve selected a recipe using garam masala to make for dinner tonight, but now you need something to pair it with. Here are a few suggestions:

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s in garam masala?

You can purchase the spice blend in most mainstream grocery stores, but there is something you should understand – garam masala is not one size fits all. You will find that recipes for garam masala are specific to each region, each slightly different from the last, and that’s why recipes using garam masala are also diverse.

The combination of whole spices and how much of each spice will vary from recipe to recipe, but the preparation is the same. Begin by measuring the whole spices, then toast them in a pan over low heat. Finely grind the spices and preserve them for many meals to come!

What spices are used to prepare garam masala?

This list could go on and on, but here are some whole spices you can include in a garam masala recipe: green cardamom, black cardamom, cinnamon sticks, black cloves, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, nutmeg, mace, bay leaves, black peppercorns, star anise, dried ginger, asafoetida powder, caraway seeds, and fenugreek.

Try our Pakistani garam masala as a replacement for the store-bought version. You can also try this family-treasured Indian garam masala recipe.

What does garam masala taste like?

Garam masala is a warm, fragrant spice blend with layers of flavor. The taste depends on the amount of each spice used, but overall I would describe it as savory sweet.

More Recipe Collections:

Your Feedback is Valuable

Did you try this recipe? Consider leaving a ⭐️ rating and comment below. And for more healthy international recipes for everyday cooking, sign up to have recipes emailed right to you.

A Pinterest pin for Recipes Using Garam Masala.


Sunday 16th of October 2022

What a great collection of Indian/Pakistani recipes. Now that I've mastered your garam masala recipe, it is easy to make many of these. We tried the kaleji, biryani, and daal and they were all rich and flavorful. Very authentic.