This 2 ingredient garlic paste is made by blending fresh garlic cloves and oil into a smooth, thick puree-like consistency. It is super easy to make and having a jar of garlic paste on hand, really speeds up the cooking time. Use it to add flavor to variety of indian curry sauces, marinades, soups, stews and salad dressings! Freezer friendly recipe!
I am slowly gravitating towards a "make ahead prep" kind of a cook. With two kids, days can be pretty hectic and if there is a way I can save even 5 minutes while cooking, I will embrace it!.
Indian cooking is unimaginable without ginger and garlic. These two ingredients go into almost every savory dish I cook.
Garlic paste is convenient to use in my everyday cooking since it eliminates the need for peeling and chopping individual garlic cloves every time. Having a jar in the refrigerator or freezer saves me time and effort especially if you are like me and cook several meals in a day!
I usually make a large batch and store a small amount in the fridge to use within a week. The rest, I pop in the freezer to last me for a months. It is also particularly helpful when cooking multiple dishes.
Garlic paste is simply a paste made with garlic cloves and olive oil (or avocado oil). It stores well and is really convenient to use.
Why make your own
- For me, one of the biggest reasons to make garlic paste at home is the unadulterated taste of garlic. I have tried using bottled garlic pastes from stores, but I find the real garlic flavor missing. Often, store bought pastes smell funky and I taste the preservatives more than the garlic itself. In your homemade version, you control the quality of garlic for strong flavor.
- I feel that the paste brings in an enhanced garlic flavor to indian curries and marinades. The paste mixes really well and adds a much robust flavor to what I am cooking as compared to chopped or minced garlic.
- Long shelf life - Garlic paste freezes incredibly well. Once you make a large batch & freeze, it will last you months.
- You control the ingredients. Which, in our case are garlic and oil. No preservatives, citric acid etc are used, that most definitely interfere with the natural taste of garlic.
- Cost effective - Not only the taste is far better, it is definitely economical to make at home.
- Lastly, as we discussed before, making your own garlic paste is convenient and time saving!
Pre-peeled Garlic or Garlic Bulb - Which one to use?
Both are great options in my opinion however once you factor in the time, using pre peeled garlic is quicker! Garlic bulbs are great however, if you choose to peel 1 pound or more worth of garlic, making this garlic paste will turn into a 1-2 hour (or longer) project.
I prefer to purchase peeled garlic. The most important thing is ensuring that the pre-peeled garlic is free from mold (visible as whitish fungal growth) or brown spots. Before you put the garlic bag in your cart, inspect thoroughly. As a rule, I avoid purchasing pre-peeled garlic if the packaging isn't transparent and doesn't allow me to see its quality.
It may take some trial and error to identify which stores consistently stock the best garlic. Start by purchasing a bag from one store at a time. Make a paste and use in your cooking and assess the flavor before you decide on the overall freshness and taste of garlic.
I tried pre peeled garlic from 2-3 stores before finding out where I like it from the most. Personally, I now prefer to buy mine from Costco, where they stock a 3 lb bag. It's a huge lot of garlic. I use half of it (about 1.5 lb) to make, store, and freeze garlic paste. The rest I keep refrigerated and use to make tadkas for my every day dal or recipes that call for minced garlic.
The frozen paste lasts me for about 2.5 -3 months and I love its convenience and flavor!
Why Use Oil
Oil helps in blending as well as extending the shelf life of the garlic paste especially if you wan to keep it refrigerated. I add ⅓ cup of avocado for 1.5 lb of garlic. May sound like a lot, but if you do the math, it will be very minimal oil per serving of garlic paste.
This is a wonderful 1 step recipe if you use pre preeled garlic. Make sure to inspect the garlic cloves and (I recommend) to rinse them under water before proceeding to make a paste.
Add peeled garlic and oil to a blender and grind into a smooth paste. Depending on the quantity of garlic you are grinding, choose the blender. For large quantity, I use my Vitamix, else a smaller blender like magic bullet or ninja bullet works great!
You will need to stop, open the lid of Vitamix and scrape and stir around a few times to make sure that the paste is smooth. Use a rubber spatula to mix.
Refrigerator - I transfer about ½ cup of the paste to a glass container or jar with a tight fitting lid and store refrigerated for 5-6 days. Due to a compound in garlic, your paste might change color after 3-4 days to greenish or dark green, but it is safe to consume.
Freezer - The rest I freeze in mini silicone ice cube molds with sealing lid (non affiliate). Make sure that you freeze in a silicone mold because it makes taking out the frozen garlic paste easy. I highly recommend using molds with lids to preserve freshness of the garlic paste as well as to avoid freezer burns. Or you once frozen, you can take out the cubes and store in a ziplock bag.
How To Use in Your Cooking
1 large, fat garlic clove is equivalent to about ¾ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of garlic paste.
I usually use 1 entire cube at a time in my cooking. You could fill the mold compartments with less quantity of paste if you like mild garlic flavors or are cooking for fewer people (1-2 servings).
Refrigerated Garlic Paste - Use a clean spoon (don't use your fingers) to scoop out the quanity you need.
Frozen Garlic Paste - There is no need to thaw the frozen paste cubes. Simply take them out from the mold or zip loc bag and add to the cooking pot. Do not thaw and refreeze the entire batch. Silicone molds are helpful thats why since you can just take out the quantity you need.
Some of my recipes where I love use garlic paste.
Homemade Garlic Paste
- Vitamix Blender or similar
- 1.5 lb garlic cloves I use pre peeled
- ⅓ cup avocado oil or olive oil
- Make sure to inspect the garlic cloves and (I recommend) to rinse them with water before making the paste.
- Add peeled garlic cloves and oil to a blender.Note - Depending on the quantity of garlic you are grinding, choose the blender size. For large quantity, I use my Vitamix, else a smaller blender like magic bullet or ninja bullet works great!
- On medium high speed, grind into a smooth paste.Note - You will need to scrape and stir around a few times to make sure that the paste is smooth. Open the lid and use a rubber spatula to mix.