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substitute for Asafoetida
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Not a typical spice, finding and cooking with asafoedita may pose a challenge. Here is a list of top 7 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, saying that, 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. Therefore it requires combining fresh and powdered ingredients for replicating the flavour output.

Let us look at some of the best asafoetida substitutes that you can easily use as an alternative in a dish.

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 during the first cooking process 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 are not limited to add asafoetida to cook Indian food only. You can use it in stews, soups, casseroles, and stir fries for some idea.

Best Substitutes For Asafoetida

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

Replacing the strong raw taste makes finding a suitable asafoetida substitute a bit challenging, while on the other hand 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 of the easy to find 7 best asafetida substitute that you can use:

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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Fresh chopped or minced 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.

5. Garlic powder or fresh garlic

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.

6. Onion powder

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.

7. Combine chives with garlic or use chives alone

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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