HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
What's your latest food quest? Tell us about it

What can I substitute for garam masala seasoning?

spkspk Aug 29, 2008 12:26 PM

I want to try a new recipe, but it calls for garam masala, which I don't have (and I don't have time to stop by the market). What can I use to substitute?

  1. c
    Chimayo Joe Aug 29, 2008 12:51 PM

    Garam masala is just a mixture of spices. Lots of recipes to make it. Here's a simple one:


    If you want something more elaborate Google garam masala recipes.

    1. t
      tmso Aug 29, 2008 12:58 PM

      A very basic garam masala could be made out of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and nutmeg.

      1 Reply
      1. re: tmso
        Chimayo Joe Aug 29, 2008 01:20 PM

        I overlooked that the recipe I linked to didn't have cardamom. I'd say it's essential in garam masala.

      2. s
        spkspk Aug 29, 2008 01:40 PM

        Hmmm, looks like I'll have to hold off on making the recipe until I get a hold of garam masala since I don't have either coriander or cardamom!

        1 Reply
        1. re: spkspk
          mutti Aug 29, 2008 06:46 PM

          try using allspice it tastes a lot like garam masala.

        2. s
          sea97horse Aug 29, 2008 02:02 PM

          Or, you could just use curry powder. Both that and garam masala are mixes of spices, and although there are certain basics, every mix will differ. (I know some posters will strongly disagree to making the switch, but then there's the real world.)

          1. b
            beastII Mar 31, 2012 12:51 PM

            I know it's been a while and you've most likely already gotten the garam masala but I found this when I was looking for the same answer.
            chat masala = chaat masala To make your own: Roast in a pan one tablespoon coriander seeds and two tablespoons cumin seeds, then grind them along with two tablespoons black peppercorns, one tablespoon crushed dried red chile peppers, one tablespoon amchoor powder, and one tablespoon salt. Substitutes: garam masala.

            I found it on this site if you ever need to find any other substitutes for spices and herbs: http://www.foodsubs.com/SpicemixInd.html

            1 Reply
            1. re: beastII
              JungMann Mar 31, 2012 03:08 PM

              I wouldn't recommend chaat masala as a substitute for garam masala. It is spicy and sour whereas garam masala is warm-tasting and slightly sweet. Prepared chaat masala often contains very distinctive sulfurous-tasting spices that send it even further afield.

            Show Hidden Posts