Basic How To’s: Series I~ Ginger-Garlic Paste

Basic How To: Ginger-Garlic Paste

Ginger-garlic paste is one of the most basic and essential ingredients in almost every Indian kitchen and most used in Hyderabadi cuisine. It is used in most of the non-vegetarian preparations and a few of the vegetarian dishes as well. Every kitchen in India might have container of ginger-garlic paste stored in the kitchen.

Ginger and peeled garlic pods

I usually make ginger-garlic paste in large amounts and store it in the freezer in several small plastic boxes. I keep one box in the refrigerator and store the rest in the freezer. As it finishes with daily use in cooking, I take out an another box from the freezer compartment and again store it in the refrigerator, where it thaws and is ready to be used again. This is how I prepare and store the ginger-garlic paste for my daily cooking.

I get many queries from my readers about the procedure to prepare Ginger-Garlic paste, so that gave me an idea to start a series on Basic How To’s. You can find a list of ‘How to’s’ in the category section in the left sidebar of my blog for easy access. Here goes the recipe:

Ginger-Garlic paste

Ginger garlic paste – Adrak-Lahsun ka paste

(I always use Garlic and Ginger in the ratio of 2:1 in quantity)

Ginger Root – 250 gms
Garlic pods- 500 gms


1. Wash and scrape the ginger root using a spoon. Wearing gloves, or else your fingers will burn after you finish scraping the whole amount of ginger root. Cut it into chunks.

Garlic bulbs and Garlic cloves

2. Peel garlic and cut each in half if the cloves are very large.
3. Grind the ginger and garlic together, adding little or no water to help in grinding. I always prepare Ginger-Garlic paste in the Food processor, make the job a lot easier. I don’t even need to chop up garlic, or add any water. It does the job quickly and perfectly.

Garlic and ginger in the processor

4. Store in small glass freezer proof air tight food storage containers.
5. Keep one container in the refrigerator and rest in the freezer compartment.
6. As the container in the refrigerator finishes with daily use, take a container out of the freezer and store this in the refrigerator for use.
7. Continue doing this till the whole stock of boxes finishes. You can again make Ginger garlic paste and store it the same way. It comes handy in a lot of dishes from the Indian cuisine.

Garlic bulbs soaking in water for easier and quick peeling

Tip: To peel a large amount of garlic, soak as many garlic heads as you need in just luke warm water for 15-30 minutes. Drain and peel them all. The peels should come off effortlessly.

This post is my contribution to the event Back to Basics originally stated by Jaya, and currently being hosted by Aqua at Served with Love.


15 thoughts on “Basic How To’s: Series I~ Ginger-Garlic Paste

  1. Grind Garlic & Ginger in Olive Oil or cooking oil and store in the glass jar/bottle & keep for months in the fridge it won’t become green.

  2. hi! i tried making the garlic paste at home n added salt,turmeric and oil as well but still my mixture turned green. it still smells like garlic and not something rotten so can i still use it?

  3. Salaam alaykum.
    I should have done this a long time ago! And JazakAllah for the garlic soaking tip!
    Do you think if I apply the same concept to tomatoes it will yield a good result? Like if I puree tomatoes (without adding water) and freeze them. I would like to start buying wholesale tomatoes because it’s much cheaper, but I’m not sure if it will work the same way or if it will taste fresh.

    WaAlaiKumAsSalaam Suzann. Tomatoes may be frozen whole, sliced, chopped, or puréed. Additionally, you can freeze them raw or cooked, as juice or sauce, or prepared in the recipe of your choice. Thawed raw tomatoes may be used in any cooked-tomato recipe. Do not try to substitute them for fresh tomatoes, however, since freezing causes their texture to become mushy.

  4. JazakAllahu khair mona,I noticed that the large ginger and garlic from china ,tend to turn green soon,but the Indian ones(smaller in size) do not change colour.Also they smell very good and fresh for a longer time.

  5. while preparing ginger garlic paste always add salt and little haldi(turmeric)and oil(as per the quantity), now store in a container and need not store in fridge also it can stay without refrigirate even for one month or two, and colour also will not change. For u r satisfaction if u want to store in fridge it will stay for six months easily.

    Vaseem, Jazakallahu Khair for your tip.

  6. Hello all,

    now a days in karachi i am seeings jars of ginger and garlic paste with sealed packed, how can they preserve them without any freezer or refigrator?

  7. Also another important factor contributing to green on top of masala.
    When picking ginger and garlic from market, please note the following 2 points :
    1) Ginger : Do not buy tender ginger which is soft, green, less fiber. Buy the well developed. Never mind fiber. Once you grind it, you wont find it.

    2) Garlic : Similarly always buy the very dry garlic. You can feel the garlic to be soft or dry. The chilka (layer on garlic) has to be crisp and should peel off just by pressing fingers over it.

    When you make sure the above two points, you will not get green. Also add salt to the ginger, garlic while grinding. (You can adjust/reduce salt in curry while preparing it)

  8. Tip to not get green in masala :
    While preparing ginger garlic paste, always add salt. It will not let green thing to form. Also while storing in fridge, do not let air come in contact with the masala (seal it tightly)

    Additional information : I may be wrong but I always prefer the ginger garlic masala to be very specific.

    I have my own reason to prepare ginger garlic paste with different ratios for different recipes.
    1) 1 part Ginger to 1 part garlic : This combination is for tarkari gosht dishes. Or any ordinary dish.
    2) 1.5 parts ginger to 1 part garlic : This combination is for bagara chawal, chiken khurma, fish, prawns (or any curry made of mutton/chicken/fish/prawns alone like mutton curry, chicken khurma etc)
    3) 2 parts ginger to 1 part garlic : This combination is for biryanis, talehuwe items (gosht, murag, jhinge etc) or any dish with thick gravy and spicey items.

    Altaf Rahman, Jazakallahu Khair for sharing the tips.

  9. Hi
    i tried punam’s idea n sauted it
    it turned all green
    anyways hope it stays good

    Sana, homemade ginger-garlic paste is bound to turn green. Just freeze it well and use it carefully, and it will last long inshallah. ~Mona

  10. Hello Mona, You have an excelleny cookery site here. I must say, most of your recipes are those perfect concoctions that are missing from many food-based sites. Your effort to keep alive, Hyderabadi cuisine is commendable.

    Here is a tip about the ginger garlic paste: Just storing the GG paste will make it form a yellowish/greenish tinge when kept in the fridge for a long time, esp in countries where the summer is long, with a slightly pungent smell too. And the frozen GG paste is a mess, because we have to break it or remember to remove it early so that it softens. A good alternative to this, is to add another simple step to ur procedure..

    Heat about 3 tbsp oil (for ur quantity) in a pan and remove pan from fire. Add the GG paste to the oil and mix well so that the oil disappears. Now, put the pan back on fire and saute well for about 3 minutes (until a soft aroma rises). Now, remove from pan and cool it.

    Now, store the whole qty in fridge. (No need of freezing it either, coz this wont spoil even if stored for 5 months.)

    Hope this was useful.. do try it & let me know the result.

    Punam, Thanks for the very useful tip, I will definitely try it. ~Mona

  11. Do you ever find the ginger-garlic paste turning green in the fridge? Any ideas on why this happens and how to prevent it?

    MJ, the green colour of the ginger garlic paste when they are stored is because of the reactions between the ginger and garlic and upon coming in contact with air. Its normal, and its not at all food poisoning,. So, i do not mind the change in colour. However if you want to avoid it, Seena has here said how to avoid the change of colour, i havent tried it yet.. I always use the Ginger-Garlic paste even if it turns green. ~Mona

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