Ginger and garlic are basic ingredients in many dishes, especially in South Asia. To save time, you can puree the two ingredients into a paste that you can directly spoon into the pan, rather than chopping them up each time you cook. Use pasta as if it were real, and heat it to bring out its flavor and aroma before turning it into a dish.
- 115 g or 1 cup chopped ginger
- 230 gr or 20 cloves of garlic
- teaspoon salt
- tablespoon lightly flavored oil (e.g. canola, safflower, corn oil)
- 1-2 tablespoons (15-30 ml) white vinegar (optional)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
Part 1 of 2: Making Small Amounts of Pasta
Step 1. Wash and dry the ginger
Moisture will reduce the shelf life of the pasta. Dry the ginger completely before processing it, and make sure the utensils you use are dry too.
Step 2. Cut the ginger into coarse cubes
Old ginger has brown skin and wrinkles, it is best to peel it first. Young ginger has yellow skin and is soft, and does not need to be peeled. Start with 113 grams of ginger, or about 1 cup once chopped. Some cooks prefer to use more ginger (double that amount), but it's best to wait until you taste the resulting paste, as too much ginger can overpower the taste of the garlic.
Young ginger has a less spicy taste than old ginger. You can use more of it without worrying about dulling the garlic flavor
Step 3. Try to use fresh garlic
Garlic that has been stored for a long time has a stronger aroma and taste. In addition to overpowering the flavors of other ingredients, these aromatic compounds can give pasta a bluish-green color. Use fresh garlic to avoid this effect.
Cut the green shoots of garlic as they have a hot and tangy taste
Step 4. Peel the garlic
You will need about 2 large heads of garlic, or about 20 cloves of garlic. To save time, peel the onions all at once:
- Separate the garlic cloves and place them in a large metal bowl.
- Take a second bowl of the same size. Place it upside down over the first bowl.
- Shake both bowls vigorously for a few minutes to remove the garlic skin.
Step 5. Puree ginger, garlic and salt
Get a blender or food processor ready to grind the ginger and garlic. Add enough salt to allow the pasta to last a little longer. Scrape the walls of the blender each time you finish spinning it.
Step 6. Add oil
Pour in about teaspoon (8 ml) of vegetable oil towards the end of the mashing process. Choose an oil that has a mild flavor, such as canola, corn, or safflower oil. Add the oil a little at a time (a few drops at a time) if the blender gets stuck.
Step 7. Store in the refrigerator
Put the pasta in a clean, dry jar. Place it in the coldest part of the refrigerator, usually the back. If the jar is airtight, the paste will last 2-3 weeks. However, even if stored in the freezer, there is a very dangerous risk of botulinum contamination. If you are storing pasta for more than three days, be sure to heat it thoroughly for ten minutes to remove these toxins.
- The surface of the paste may turn brown. This condition occurs due to reaction with oxygen, and is not dangerous. However, if the brown color extends below the surface, it means the pasta has gone stale.
- Keep a clean spoon in the jar, or use a completely dry and clean spoon whenever you want to use pasta.
Part 2 of 2: Storing Pasta for Long-Term Use
Step 1. Understand the risks
Garlic can be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, a potentially fatal bacterium. When garlic is mashed and stored in a low-acid environment like this, bacteria produce toxins that are very dangerous, even when stored in the refrigerator. Heating the pasta for at least ten minutes can destroy this poison. However, because it is a very dangerous poison, it is better to store the pasta as needed for the next three days. Freeze the rest as described at the end of this section.
Step 2. Add dry roasted salt
Salt is a good preservative, and you can add a pinch of salt for the above recipe, but remember not to add too much salt in dishes that use the pasta. To remove any liquid that could damage the pasta, roast the salt in a dry skillet over medium heat. The salt is ready to use once it turns slightly golden in color.
- Let the salt come to room temperature before adding it to the pasta.
- By adding a large amount of salt, pasta can be stored for up to two or three months in the refrigerator.
Step 3. Use vinegar instead of oil
White vinegar is an alternative preservative that doesn't affect the taste like salt. Pour vinegar in place of oil during the refining process; add little by little until the paste becomes smooth or after you have added about 2 tablespoons (30 ml).
Unfortunately, acidic ingredients, such as vinegar, can make the garlic paste turn a bluish green
Step 4. Add a tablespoon of turmeric
Turmeric has antibacterial properties that can extend the shelf life of food. In addition, the yellow color can make the paste look brighter over time.
Step 5. Sterilize the jars
To prevent the pasta from spoiling quickly, sterilize the jars in a pot of boiling water. Dry with a new paper towel to prevent contamination while absorbing all the liquid.
This step is especially important if you don't have a refrigerator
Step 6. Freeze the pasta
If you plan to use the pasta for more than a month, make a large batch of pasta and freeze the rest. Store frozen pasta in glass jars, leaving about 2.5-5 cm of space at the top to accommodate any possible expansion of the pasta. Defrost within 6 months for best quality.