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Recipes Using Garam Masala

Are you curious about how to use garam masala? You’re in luck! I’ve got some of the best recipes using garam masala for you to try, and they are just as mouth-watering as they look. Even just a pinch of the ground spice blend is enough to take any dish next level!

A cover image for Recipes Using Garam Masala.

What is Garam Masala?

Garam masala combines toasted and ground whole spices; this is where the seasoning gets its name, ‘hot spice’ (or garam masala in English). I know what you might be thinking – is it spicy? Not at all. Instead, the name hot spice refers toasting whole spices to draw out their flavor and aroma before grinding them.

What’s in Garam Masala?

You can purchase garam masala in most grocery stores, but there is something to understand before you do – garam masala is not one size fits all. Recipes for garam masala differ from region to region, each slightly different from the last.

The combination of whole spices and how much of each spice varies from recipe to recipe, but the preparation is roughly the same. You begin by measuring the whole spices and toast them in a pan over low heat. Then, grind the whole spices into a fine powder and preserve it for many meals to come.

Start with a Recipe for Garam Masala

Whole spices on a plate next to the garam masala spice blend.

Garam masala is an essential ingredient in South Asian cuisine, and this Pakistani garam masala will elevate the flavor of any dish.

Our garam masala recipe on a plate.

This North Indian garam masala recipe is a treasure my husband’s family permitted me to share. Use the unique spice blend to flavor meals such as kofta, korma, and curry. 

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 on a serving plate.

Grilled tandoori chicken is tender and juicy on the inside with a nice char on the outside, and it has the vibrant reddish color you expect from restaurant-style tandoori chicken. Coated in homemade tandoori masala, complete with warm garam masala.

If you don’t feel like grilling, try baked 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

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

Sit down with a piping hot bowl of moong dal and basmati rice. The flavorful main dish or side features yellow lentils sautéed with fresh garlic, ginger, tomatoes, and fragrant spices like toasted and ground garam masala. 

4. Mushroom Curry

Mushroom masala curry in a bowl.

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

Photo Credit: Profusion Curry

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 dinner party with friends.

6. Shahi Paneer

Shahi paneer served with fresh naan.

Punjabi shahi paneer has a flavorful masala consisting of cashews, tomato passata, and delicious spices such as garam masala.

And for all of you paneer lovers out there, make air fryer paneer.

Photo Credit: The Sassy Foodie

7. Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken tikka masala served on rice.

Easy chicken tikka masala is a delicious, Indian-inspired British recipe with a rich and creamy tomato curry loaded with bold spices and tender chicken pieces.

Photo Credit: Sugar and Sou

8. Paneer Butter Masala

Paneer butter masala with naan.

Restaurant-style paneer butter masala or paneer makhani is a popular Indian dish with a creamy curry made up of rich butter, onions, tomatoes, paneer, and ground spices like garam masala.

Photo Credit: Cook with Kushi

9. Chicken Tikka Biryani

Chicken Tikka Biryani in a small bowl.

Make delicious chicken tikka biryani, full of aromatic flavor, for your next gathering or a special family dinner. It combines two popular Indian meals in one, chicken tikka and biryani, into one flavor-packed meal.

10. Saag Paneer

Saag paneer in a bowl.

Saag paneer features a unique ingredient, Swiss chard instead of spinach. It combines with lightly-spiced greens and fried paneer in a tasty curry.

Photo Credit: Masala and Chai

More Recipes with Spinach:

11. Roasted Salmon Sandwiches

Roasted salmon sandwiches on a plate.

Slow-roasted salmon sandwiches are made with spiced salmon, apple slaw, and an easy mustard sauce spiked with ground garam masala for additional flavor.

Photo Credit: Champagne Tastes

If you enjoy these recipes using garam masala, try one of these homemade spice blends.

12. Chana Masala

Chana masala in a serving dish.

This authentic chana masala recipe simmers in a spiced tomato curry flavored with sautéed onions, fresh ginger, garlic, green peppers, and chopped cilantro.

13. Coconut Lamb Curry

Coconut lamb curry in a bowl.

Hearty lamb curry with coconut milk and Indian spices is perfect with a bowl of fluffy rice.

Photo Credit: Cooked and Loved

14. Mutton Rogan Josh

Rogan Josh in a bowl.

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

Photo Credit: The Yellow Daal

15. Tandoori Chicken Tikka

Tandoori chicken tikka in a serving dish.

Skewers of tandoori chicken tikka are coated in spiced yogurt marinade and grilled to perfection for flavorful chicken bites you can scoop with fresh naan. 

16. Lamb Vindaloo

Lamb vindaloo on a plate with rice.

Spicy lamb vindaloo is a signature curry from the Goan region of India made with spices, dried peppers, and vinegar.

Photo Credit: Peel with Zeal

17. Chocolate Garam Masala Cookies

Chocolate garam masala cookies in a bowl.

Chocolate garam masala cookies feature an unlikely combination of ingredients – garam masala and rich chocolate!

Ground spices are often a tasty addition to dessert recipes, try cardamom orange cookies next!

Photo Credit: Food Trails

18. Aloo Keema

Aloo keema in a serving bowl.

Treat yourself to authentic 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.

19. Chana Saag

Fresh chana saag in a serving bowl.

Chana saag is a vegan dish brimming with authentic Indian flavor and loaded with fresh greens.

Photo Credit: Spice up the Curry

20. Chicken Kaleji

Chicken kaleji curry in a bowl.

Enjoy the savory flavor of authentic chicken kaleji. It is a tasty homestyle meal you can eat at home or prepare for special occasions like Eid. Try my Pakistani beef kaleji recipe next!

21. Dal Makhani

Instant Pot black dal in a bowl.

This dal makhani recipe is a copycat of the famous dish at London’s Dishoom. The Instant Pot black dal recipe is rich and creamy. Plus, it’s ready in no time!

Photo Credit: Instant Pot Eats

22. Indian Eggplant Curry

Indian eggplant curry in a bowl with rice.

The curry is a delicious blend of different spices with tender eggplant to create an easy eggplant curry.  

Photo Credit: Plant-Based World

More Eggplant Recipes:

23. Paya Soup

A bowl of paya.

Paya soup is a bone broth recipe known for its health benefits. For this recipe, beef trotters stew in a soothing and flavorful broth finished with warmly spiced baghar. Or you can make mutton paya soup or mutton soup

24. Samosas

Samosas on a wire racks.

These easy Indian samosas are made with simple pantry ingredients for a delicious appetizer or side dish.

Photo Credit: The Urban Farmie

25. Shepherd’s Pie

Indian-spiced shepherd's pie in a casserole dish.

Make shepherd’s pie with a twist! The dish is a comforting combination of spiced ground meat topped with creamy mashed potatoes. Or you can use mashed cauliflower as a topping for a low-carb option.

Photo Credit: Every Little Crumb

Serving Suggestions

Now that you’ve got some ideas for recipes using garam masala, you need something to pair them with.

Frequently Asked Questions

What spices are used to prepare garam masala?

The list could go on and on. Many recipes call for spices like green cardamom pods, black cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, black cloves, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, nutmeg (use ground if you cannot find it whole), mace, bay leaves, black peppercorns, star anise, ginger powder, asafoetida powder, caraway seeds, and fenugreek seeds, depending on where you live and what recipes you are making with the spice blend.

What does garam masala taste like?

Garam masala has a warm, fragrant taste with layers of flavor. The taste slightly changes depending on the amount of each spice used, but overall, I describe it as savory sweet.

More Recipe Collections:

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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.