Ginger garlic paste is a common ingredient in many dishes. But store-bought ones contain preservatives and they don’t taste as good as homemade ones. However, making just enough ginger-garlic paste every time for each dish can be time-consuming. That is why I always make them in a batch and store them in the fridge ready to use. You just need to add some oil, salt and turmeric as preservatives and it will last for at least a month without spoiling.
Of course, this means having to peel about 250 gm of garlic at a stretch. So, over a period of time, I tried out some of the common hacks suggested online for peeling garlic quickly and easily. What I found was that all methods took me almost around 5 minutes per bulb, including prep time. But, in terms of easiness, there are distinct winners.
Let us explore the winners and the other methods worth trying.
Easiest Way To Peel Garlic
Method 1: Conventional Method
The conventional method I use is I break down the bulb into cloves, chop off the head and then peel each clove. This was chosen as a control method to compare against other hacks. As I often use this method, I am quicker at it. I was able to peel a whole bulb containing 20 garlic cloves in about 4.5 minutes. It is probably because of practice.
Verdict: An okayish method when you need to peel just a little quantity of garlic.
Method 2: Microwave The Garlic
This is definitely one of the easiest methods we tried for peeling garlic. To try this method, wrap the garlic bulb in a wet paper napkin. Then, microwave it for about 20-30 seconds. Take it out and wait for about 30-60 seconds for it to cool down. When you remove the paper napkin, you would notice that the garlic cloves on the outer layer have almost peeled off on their own. But, the ones inside haven’t. But, this makes it way easier to peel the garlic.
Though it took me almost 5 minutes for the whole process, 1.5 minutes out of it was passive and spent microwaving and letting it cool down. It was definitely the easier method. However, a drawback is that it makes the garlic soft.
Verdict: If you don’t mind the garlic going soft, opt for this method when you need to peel a large quantity of garlic.
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Method 3: Soaking In Hot Water
Most websites suggest breaking down the bulb into cloves and soaking it in hot water for a while. However, we tweaked it a bit for better results. We first chopped the head of the garlic cloves and then soaked it in hot water. After a while, the peels went soft and were easy to remove. It did not take much time and was effortless too. But, as water is involved, it would be a bit slippery and messy. Here again, if you use boiling water, the garlic may get a little soft. It is a preferred method for peeling shallots as well.
Verdict: A pretty good method if you need to peel a large quantity of garlic.
Method 4: Smash And Peel
This is a go-to method suggested by western websites. You break down the garlic pod into cloves and then smash it with the back of the knife till you hear a crunchy sound. This breaks down the garlic peel but also smashes the garlic.
It is a better option for Westerners as they get large garlic, which is known to us as Chinese garlic. But for our Indian garlic, it may not necessarily be the best option. The garlic gets smashed too much and you still have to take considerable effort to remove the peel.
It took me a little more than 5 minutes to peel 20 garlic cloves in a bulb. And it was a bit messy too. Also, while this method could be used on the larger garlic on the outer layer of the bulb, it wasn’t really suitable for the small and thin garlic inside.
Verdict: Not suggested, unless you use Chinese garlic.
Method 5: Shake It Up
This method suggests breaking down the pod into cloves and putting them in a mason jar. Then, shake the jar vigorously. Honestly, it takes up quite a lot of effort. I shook the jar for 2 minutes, taking breaks in between as my hands ached. And even after all the effort, I got just 2 garlic cloves peeled. Many people swear by this method. But, it is a total miss for me.
Verdict: Won’t suggest even to my enemies!
Method 6: Chop The Root And Cut In Half
This method calls for chopping off the root of the garlic bulb and then cutting the whole bulb in half. This, they say makes it easier to peel the garlic.
But this again was a method that did not go the way intended. Probably it may work for Chinese garlic, but is a disaster with Indian garlic. When you chop it in half, it is almost as if you have double the amount of work. Also, though you have chopped the head of the garlic, you still have to use a knife and peel it off. It took us about 7 minutes to peel 20 cloves!
Verdict: Absolutely not worth your time!
Out of all the methods we tried, microwaving and soaking in hot water worked the best for Indian garlic. Both the methods make the garlic go a little soft. Even so, considering the time and effort saved, it is totally worth it.
Do you have any other methods to suggest? Let us know in the comments!