14 Easy Substitute for Asafoetida

14 Easy Substitute for Asafoetida
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Not a typical spice, finding and cooking with asafoetida may pose a challenge. Here is a list of top 14 best asafoetida substitutes that you can easily use in a dish. 

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Asafoetida also spelled as asafetida or hing in Hindi, is not a mainstream Indian spice that can be bought off from a super market shelf. Finding a substitute for asafoetida is perhaps your best solution to try and replicate the flavours as much as possible.

There is a slight challenge when looking for asafetida substitute, as it is not a quintessential aromatic spice that you would normally associate spices with.

It has a very distinctive strong pungent aroma and smell which may not be to everyone’s taste especially if you smell the spice in the raw form .

However, do not let the smell downplay the uses and benefits of asafoetida powder. Hing spice is an indispensable ingredient in many Indian recipes due to the extraordinary taste and many health benefits.

There is no straightforward spice alternative to asafoetida due to its characteristic flavour.

This post lists 14 easy to find asafoetida substitutes that can be used as a replacement to hing spice.

What Is Asafoetida And The Uses?

Asafoetida is a gum resin that comes from the sap of the roots or stem of a giant fennel like plant species called Avant.

Interestingly, the overpowering sulfuric taste of asafetida dramatically changes once it is added with other ingredients and spices and cooked. The smell mellows down and complements other spices such as cumin seeds, mustard seeds, ginger etc.

Cooking with asafoetida is an exhilarating experience as although it may not look the part and smell far from an aromatic spice, however a pinch of hing does wonders in enhancing the taste of the dish.

Normally used as the first step when cooking Indian food, the use of hing is very popular in making traditional Indian vegetarian dishes.

The primary use of asafoetida is to replace onion and garlic in a dish.

You can buy asafoetida in two forms:

  • Rock form
  • Asafoetida powder

Cooking with hing powder is not limited to Indian food only. You can use it in stews, soups, casseroles, and stir fries. Click the link below for more ideas on how to cook with asafoetida.

Best Substitutes For Asafoetida

One of the greatest benefit of asafoetida is that it is a blessing for those intolerant to onion and garlic due to the typical asafoetida flavour unlike other spices.

Replacing the distinctive strong raw aroma of hing makes finding a suitable asafoetida powder substitute a bit challenging. However replicating the flavour of cooked hing substitute is fairly easy and straightforward.

This may involve combining different types of ingredients as opposed to using just one ingredient as an alternative to hing spice.

Since the flavour of hing is similar to onion and garlic, it comes as no surprise that the suitable replacement involves combining the two together in a dish.

Below are some easy to find 14 best asafoetida alternative that you can use:

Single Ingredient Substitute for Asafoedita

  1. Onion powder
  2. Garlic powder
  3. Onion paste
  4. Chives
  5. Garlic flakes
  6. Fresh wild garlic leaves
  7. Dried wild garlic leaves
  8. Sauteed garlic

2 Ingredients Combination

  1. Onion paste and minced garlic
  2. Onion powder and garlic powder
  3. Shallots and minced garlic
  4. Shallots and garlic powder
  5. Chopped leeks and garlic
  6. Chives and minced garlic

The quantity of each alternative to use in a dish is explained under.

1. Garlic powder

Garlic powder
Click image to buy garlic powder online

Garlic powder has a much less over powering aroma compared to asafoetida. Milder in taste than the fresh you can use garlic powder as an alternative to asafoetida.

How much to use?

Use 1 tsp of garlic powder instead of 1/2 tsp of hing in a dish.

2. Onion powder

Click image to buy onion powder online

Just like using garlic powder alone, you can also use onion powder if the recipe is easy on hing.

How much to use?

Use 2 tsp of onion powder instead of 1/2 tsp of asafoetida.

1. Combination of onion powder and garlic powder

The combination of both onion and garlic powder is one of the best alternatives as this replicates the strong sulfuric aroma of asafoetida.

How much to use?

Use one tsp of onion powder and 1/2 tsp of garlic powder instead of 1/2 tsp of hing in a dish.

3. Onion paste

onion paste in a bowl
Raw onion paste

Raw onion paste has a stronger aroma with notes similar to rock asafoetida. A key point to remember when using onion paste as an alternative is to be aware that it lends body to the dish making it thick. So it is best use onion paste in gravy based dishes as opposed to dry stir fried type dishes.

How much to use?

Use about 1/2 to 1 heaped teaspoon of onion paste for 1/2 to 1 leveled tsp of asafoetida.

4. Chives

fresh chives
Chives

Chives has a similar flavour to onion and is more comfortable to eat than asafoetida. It is also better for those who may have intolerance onion and garlic.

How much to use?

Being fairly mild in flavour you will need about 1-2 tsp on chopped chives to replace 1/4 tsp of asafoetida in a dish.

5. Garlic Flakes

Garlic flakes

Garlic flakes is milder compared to the powdered and the fresh version therefore you will need a fair amount to replace it for asafoedita.

How much to use?

Use 1 tsp of garlic flake to replace 1/4 tsp of asafoetida.

6. Fresh wild garlic

wild garlic leaves
Wild garlic leaves

Now this one has a seasonal use, but using finely chopped wild garlic leaves imparts a unique freshness and flavour associated with asafoetida powder. So if you happen to in the season of fresh wold garlic do try to use this as asafoetida substitute.

How much to use?

1 tsp on chopped fresh leaves for 1/2 tsp of asafoetida.

7. Dry wild garlic

Dried wild garlic

Outside of the fresh harvest, you can also find dried wild garlic leaves as a seasoning. This can also be used as a suitable replacement.

How much to use?

2 tsp of dried wild garlic to replace 1/2 tsp of asafoetida.

8. Fried garlic

fried garlic
Fried garlic

If you are a garlic lover but not too keen on asafoetida, then this would perhaps be your favourite fall back. The trick here is to saute chopped garlic in oil until it turns slightly golden brown in colour and then add other ingredients to the dish.

How much to use?

1/2 tsp on fried garlic to replace 1/4 tsp of asafoetida. You can increase the amount of fried garlic in the dish if you like a stronger taste.

9. Onion paste and minced garlic

minced garlic
Minced garlic with onion paste

Similar to using onion paste you can also add minced garlic to it to make the taste as close to that of asafoetida. This combination is for people who prefer fresh onion and garlic rather than the strong overpowering asafoetida flavour.

How much to use?

1/2 tsp of onion paste and 1/4 tsp of minced garlic to replace 1/2 tsp of asafoetida.

10. Chopped leeks and garlic

Chopped leeks and garlic

Sauteed leeks with fresh garlic or garlic powder also does the trick as a substitute for hing.

How much to use?

Finely chop 1/2 leek and saute in oil with 2 pods of garlic or 1 tsp of garlic powder for 1/2 tsp of hing.

11. Shallots and garlic

chopped shallots and garlic
Chopped shallots and garlic

Shallots have a stronger flavour than onions, so combining chopped shallots with minced or chopped garlic works equally well.

How much to use?

Use 2 finely chopped shallots with 2 pods of chopped or minced garlic to replace 1/2 tsp of asafoetida.

12. Fresh chopped or minced onions and garlic

chopped onions and garlic on a board
Chopped onions and garlic

If you do not have the dried onion and garlic powders then you can use the fresh versions as well. This increases your prep work and cooking time a bit as you will need to saute both until soft and translucent to release the flavours.

How much to use?

Use one medium sized onion and 2 pods of garlic for 1/2 tsp of asafetida.

13. Garlic powder or fresh garlic

Garlic powder

If your recipe is not heavily leaning towards using asafoetida and it is classified as an optional ingredient then you can use just garlic powder in that dish.

How much to use?

Use 1 tsp of garlic powder for 1/2 tsp of asafoetida or 2 pods of garlic. 14. Combine chives with garlic or use chives alone

galic pods and chives
Garlic pods and chives

Using chives is also a simple substitute for asafoetida. Although mild in taste compared to onion or shallot, you can saute garlic in oil, butter and ghee and add chives near the end to bring the asafoetida like flavour.

How much to use?

Use half a handful of chives with 2 cloves of garlic for 1/2 tsp of asafoetida.

Where To Buy Asafoetida

There are two different forms of asafoetida available.

One that comes in a solid form that is dark yellow or brown in colour while another in a powder form mostly yellow in colour.

The more popular of the two is the powdered yellow variety as its easier to use for cooking and has a much milder aroma.

You can buy it in larger quantity and store it for later use or small quantities in bottles or jars.

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Elizabeth Flight
Elizabeth Flight
2 months ago

This is so helpful for making sure I get the right flavor!

Julia
Julia
2 months ago

This was an extremely informative article! I’ve never heard of asafoetida before and I cannot properly digest onions or garlic (which is so unfortunate!!) so it’s great to know that there is some type of alternative.

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