What kinds of paste do you use/recommend?
Tuesday I found a recipe for Tava Chana that I thought looked good, and it called for ginger paste and garlic paste. I always have ginger paste on hand because I use it so much, but I substituted fresh garlic. There are times when only fresh ginger will do, such as for pumpkin pie and certain soups, but most of the time for my purposes the ginger paste works fine. I like it because it does not go bad before I use it and I don't have to grate it. I keep a hand of ginger in the freezer for when I need fresh/frozen.
In this recipe I substituted tomato powder for tomato paste, even though tomato paste was not in the recipe. The recipe also neglected to mention salt, but I added that also, and it had coriander in twice - obviously one of those was supposed to be cumin. For a poorly written recipe, it came out really, really good! I chose it because it did not have cinnamon in it. I get really tired of cinnamon very quickly.
Other pastes that I use include wasabi, Thai curry, and a Japanese lemon-seaweed combination that does not have an English name on the label. I think pastes are a step up from dried spices and spice combinations, although I will say that I prefer the tomato powder to the tomato paste. I have some lemongrass paste, but I never use it because I have plenty of lemongrass in the yard, but I never know when that may suddenly stop producing. I wish I could find a good cilantro paste, but I don't think that is possible.
Anyway, what are your favorites? It's not necessary to list the ones you don't like unless they are so horrible that everyone needs to be warned.