If you enjoy Indian cuisine, you must be familiar with garam masala. Wondering how to use this warm Indian spice blend? Here are 21+ amazing recipes with garam masala that you can make for dinner tonight.

Indian meals are not complete without the addition of wonderful spices. And garam masala is one of the most popular spice blends used in India. Several spices are combined to make Garam Masala.

What is Garam Masala?

Punjabi Garam masala powder in a glass jar
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In Hindi, Garam means “warm”, and Masala is basically a “blend of spices.” So Garam Masala translates to the warm spice blend.

Garam Masala is typically made by combining – cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, black peppercorns, ginger, and nutmeg. The whole spices are toasted until fragrant and then blended to make garam masala.

To get the amounts for each spice, check the detailed recipe for garam masala powder. And also see easy-to-make substitutes for garam masala.

It is used in many Indian vegetarian and chicken curries and side dishes – like chickpea curry, chicken curry, or this saag.

It can also be used to flavor meats in marinades and rubs. Check out this recipe for Indian tandoori marinade.

Let’s look at the popular Indian recipes where you can use garam masala.

Chana Masala

Chana Masala (Chickpea curry) served in a black bowl
Photo Credit: Piping Pot Curry

Punjabi Chole or Chana Masala is the favorite Indian chickpea curry. This healthy vegan and gluten-free curry is enjoyed with naan or fried Indian puffed bread called poori. It is the perfect way to cozy up on a cold evening.

Bombay Potatoes

Spicy Bombay Potatoes Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
Photo Credit: Piping Pot Curry

If you like potatoes, this will be your new favorite – Bombay Potatoes or Masala Aloo. Baby Potatoes are cooked with aromatic spices as a one-pot dish. They are perfect for serving as an appetizer or a side dish.

Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken Instant Pot Pressure Cooker - Close up with butter chicken in a fork
Photo Credit: Piping Pot Curry

Butter Chicken is the most popular Indian dish worldwide. Chicken cooked in mildly spiced tomato gravy with aromatic ginger, garlic, and spices. 

This dish is a great way to delve into Indian cooking, as it is mild but still has a wonderful flavor with the addition of garam masala. Serve with naan or rice.

Tandoori Cauliflower

Tandoori Gobi served on a platter with chutney
Photo Credit: Piping Pot Curry

This Tandoori Gobi Tikka is so flavorful, golden, and crispy. It is tossed with a spiced yogurt marinade and roasted in the oven or air fryer. The whole family will love this easy and healthy cauliflower appetizer!  

Chicken Biryani

chicken biryani served on a plate garnished with cilantro, onions and lime
Photo Credit: Piping Pot Curry

This Indian chicken and rice dish is popular all over the world. 

This one-pot Chicken Biryani has fragrant rice cooked with tender, juicy chicken along with lots of warming spices and caramelized onions.

Mushroom Matar

instant pot mushroom matar masala garnished with cilantro
Photo Credit: Piping Pot Curry

Made with earthy mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, and aromatic spices, this Mushroom Masala Curry is a wonderful warm weeknight dinner that can be made in just 30 minutes.

Tandoori Chicken Wings

Indian style Tandoori chicken wings served in a platter with a dip and lemon wedges
Photo Credit: Piping Pot Curry

These smoky Tandoori chicken wings are marinated in Indian spices and yogurt and grilled to perfection.

The wings are succulent and juicy on the interior and crispy on the outside. Serve with a yogurt dip or Indian green chutney.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken tikka masala in a plate over white rice with naan pieces on the side.
Photo Credit: Piping Pot Curry

Chicken Tikka Masala is a super flavorful and aromatic Indian chicken curry made with marinated tender chicken cooked in a creamy sauce.

One of the favorite dishes to order at Indian restaurants. Once you make it at home, you will not consider take-out again!

Vegetable Biryani

Vegetable Biryani rice closeup
Photo Credit: Piping Pot Curry

Fragrant basmati rice cooked with lots of vegetables and aromatic whole spices and herbs. 

Vegetable Biryani has all the goodness of biryani but is made healthier and vegetarian. Pair with cooling cucumber raita for a well-balanced meal.

Aloo Gobi

Aloo Gobi Instant Pot Pressure Cooker 1
Photo Credit: Piping Pot Curry

A simple and delicious veggie stir fry, perfect for weeknights – Aloo Gobi.

Aloo is Potato, and gobi is Cauliflower, so this is a Potatoes & Cauliflower Stir Fry cooked with onion and tomato, along with aromatic spices such as turmeric & garam masala.

Vegetable Korma

Vegetable Curry with Basmati Rice and Naan
Photo Credit: Piping Pot Curry

This restaurant-style creamy vegetable korma curry is a perfect blend of vegetables with a creamy coconut-based sauce. A vegan & gluten-free curry that pairs perfectly with naan or rice.

Spinach Dal

Dal Palak (Lentils with spinach) in a pretty bowl with rice on the side
Photo Credit: Piping Pot Curry

Spinach Dal, popularly called Dal Palak in India, is a comforting lentil soup with spinach mixed in it for extra nutrition.

It is so easy to make it in the pressure cooker. A little garam masala at the end elevates the flavors of the dal. Enjoy it with basmati rice or as a soup.

Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
Photo Credit: Piping Pot Curry

A North Indian favorite made with spinach and firm cottage cheese, Palak Paneer.

The one-pot recipe for Palak Paneer can be made in 20 minutes and is super easy and just as delicious as the traditional version.


Keema Matar with peas in a plate
Photo Credit: Piping Pot Curry

Keema Curry is one of the most popular Indian & Pakistani dishes made with ground meat. It is an easy one-pot dish that can be made in just 30 minutes. 

Keema or minced meat (goat, chicken, lamb, or beef) is cooked with onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, and aromatic spices, to make the most flavorful Keema recipe.  

Paneer Frankie

Three paneer Kathi roll wraps on a black base with a bowl of the filling in the back
Photo Credit: Piping Pot Curry

This Paneer Frankie Roll, also known as Paneer Kathi Rolls, is a popular Indian street food made with flaky flatbread, covered with egg, and wrapped with spicy paneer and tangy toppings.

Perfect for packing for a grab-and-go meal or a special weeknight meal.

Salmon Tikka Masala

Instant Pot Salmon Tikka Masala served over basmati rice
Photo Credit: Piping Pot Curry

This Salmon Tikka Masala is super flavorful, warm, and creamy, perfect for satisfying those curry cravings.

Marinated salmon steamed along with tikka masala sauce in the pressure cooker. Pair it with basmati rice or naan for a comforting meal.

Paneer Tikka Masala

Paneer Tikka Masala made in Instant Pot served in a bowl with some naan and limes on the side.
Photo Credit: Piping Pot Curry

The vegetarian version of Tikka Masala, made with paneer, is just as amazing as the meat version.

Paneer Tikka Masala is a flavorful and aromatic curry made with marinated and grilled paneer cubes simmered in a rich onion tomato gravy and warm spices.

Potato Curry

Potato Curry along with puffed bread (puri) and onions in a black plate
Photo Credit: Piping Pot Curry

This North Indian Potato Curry is popularly known as Aloo Rasedar. Aloo means potato, and Rasedar is a thin tomato-based gravy.

It is typically paired with puffed Indian bread, called puri. It is a budget-friendly meal that the whole family enjoys.

Indian Asparagus Stir Fry

Indian asparagus stir fry. Aloo Asparagus in a bowl
Photo Credit: Piping Pot Curry

Aloo Asparagus is a flavorful, spiced, and tasty Indian-inspired dish made with asparagus and potatoes.

Super quick and simple, this Indian Asparagus stir-fry is made with some basic spices and tastes absolutely delicious.


rajma served in a bowl garnished with cilantro
Photo Credit: Piping Pot Curry

Rajma Masala is an Indian Red Kidney Bean Curry, a favorite comfort food enjoyed with rice in Northern India. 

Kidney beans are cooked with onions, tomatoes, and aromatic spices to make this vegan and gluten-free curry.

Curried Pumpkin Soup

instant pot pumpkin soup in a white bowl
Photo Credit: Piping Pot Curry

You’ll fall in love with this Creamy Vegan Curried Pumpkin Soup. This flavorful soup is made with coconut milk and flavored with warming spices. It is perfect for warming you up on a chilly day!

Spinach Rice

Spinach Rice in a cast-iron pan topped with lemon slices
Photo Credit: Piping Pot Curry

Spinach Rice is a wonderful one-pot side dish. Aromatic basmati rice is cooked with spinach and spices to make this Spinach Rice flavorful and healthy!

Chicken Karahi

Chicken Karahi in a white plate with naan
Photo Credit: Piping Pot Curry

A flavorful and aromatic Pakistani chicken curry made with chicken, earthy spices and fresh ginger. 

This restaurant-style chicken curry is perfect to pair with naan or roti. It is so delicious you’ll want to dig in and relish every last bite!

Common Questions

Garam masala spice mix in a small white bowl
When should you add garam masala to a curry?

Typically, garam masala is added halfway through or right at the end of cooking as a garnish to improve a dish’s flavor. You only need a small amount because of its strong flavor. It’s a great finishing spice.

What does garam masala taste like?

Garam Masala means “warm spices,” but it definitely doesn’t mean they’re hot/ spicy. Garam Masala is highly aromatic and has a subtle sweetness with an earthy undertone. It enhances the overall taste of the food.
Again, it depends on which region it is made in. Some garam masalas will be spicy, while others may be zesty.

More Recipe Collections

I hope you enjoy this amazing collection of recipes using garam masala. Comment to let us know your favorite.

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

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