Have you noticed that most South Indian recipes require garlic and ginger in them? Honestly, I don’t know of any recipes that don’t use either one of them. Do you try to save time by mincing and chopping all of it just once for each dish you make at one time? Then find that you used more than you should have used and the last recipe you cook requires more than the amount that remains? Are you under a time crunch when cooking and want to save time?

Homemade Ginger-Garlic Paste for use in South Indian recipes

Homemade Ginger-Garlic Paste for use in South Indian recipes

It takes time to mince garlic into fine pieces; it takes more time to peel and chop the ginger fine enough so you don’t see long fibers. Many recipes call for using ginger paste, garlic paste or a blend of both. I had never used them because I thought the pastes with preservatives would not taste right. In preparing the Meat Masala recipe for the April Recipe of the Month, I finally broke down and used commercially prepared ginger-garlic paste.

The flavor of the ginger-garlic paste I purchased was fine but not as good as what I can prepare fresh. That made me thing about making my own. I went to the store and bought a huge branch of ginger and several heads of garlic. With my knife and food processor I went to work. Here is my recipe:


Ginger-Garlic Paste

The key is to use equal amounts of fresh Ginger and Garlic…doesn’t matter which unit of measure you use. 

Preparing Garlic-Ginger Paste to use in South Indian Recipes

Preparing Garlic-Ginger Paste to use in South Indian Recipes



1/4 lb ginger, peeled

1/4 lb garlic (2 large heads), peeled

3-4 Tbs water

1 1/2 Tbs vinegar 


1. Chop the garlic and ginger roughly into large pieces. Make sure to slice the ginger across the grain to cut the coarse fibers and make it less tough.

2. Put the ginger and garlic in the food processor and add 2 tablespoons of water. Pulse the ginger and garlic for approximately 10 to 15 seconds until they form a 

paste (like loose cream of wheat cereal). Scrape the paste down from the sides with a spatula so it is chopped evenly. If the paste looks thick, add 1 or two more tablespoons of water.

3. Add the vinegar to the paste and pulse for a few more seconds.




– The roughly chopped ginger and garlic should yield almost one cup each. The final result will also yield about a cup of ginger-garlic paste.

– Vinegar acts as a preservative but won’t change the flavor or texture of the paste. 

– In a clean, airtight jar, store the paste in the refrigerator. 


Check out Kachi’s Kitchen for South Indian recipes that use Ginger-Garlic paste.

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