10 Amazing Substitutes for Asafetida

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Whether you’re a culinary expert or just cooking for your family, chances are you’ve come across the word asafetida. This is an herb that has been used in Indian cuisine for centuries. But what if you can’t find it? Here are 10 substitutes for asafetida!


There are many substitutes for asafetida, also known as hing. Asafetida is a spice that has an especially strong smell and taste.

It’s used in Indian cooking to add flavor to lentils and beans, but it can be hard to find (or live with) the smell of this spice! These 10 substitutes will help you enjoy your favorite Indian dishes without smelling like them all day long.

Asafoetida can be a very pungent spice that’s commonly used in Middle Eastern, Indian and other Asian recipes. If you come across Asafeotida substitutes when cooking with these spices it might help to know how they differ from one another so your dish doesn’t suffer without the real flavor boost of this ingredient!

Health Benefits of Asafetida

Do you remember the smell of garlic and onions frying? If not, it’s time to introduce yourself to this wonderful spice called asafetida.

Asafetida is a pungent smelling spice that comes from the resin of an Indian plant called Ferula asafoetida and its Latin name literally means “repelling phantoms.”

This powerful herb has been used for centuries in many different cultures because of its medicinal properties. It can be used as a natural remedy for anything from asthma, coughs, bronchitis, whooping cough, and colds to even mental disorders like depression or anxiety.
Asafetida also increases digestion by stimulating digestive enzymes. In Ayurvedic medicine, it is also considered.

Substitutes for Asafetida

1. Minced leeks with minced garlic

If you are looking to substitute something for asafetida, minced leeks and garlic are a great option.

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The flavor will be similar and the texture will be close enough. You can find this in any grocery store or your local produce supplier. Store it in an airtight container so that it does not become too strong of a taste and spoil other food items nearby.

2. Garlic powder

One of the most common spices in Indian cooking is asafetida, also known as hing. This spice has a strong odor and taste that makes it difficult to use by itself for curry or other dishes.

Asafetida is typically used sparingly to add flavor to dishes that are usually heavily spiced. Garlic powder can be substituted for this spice because it provides a similar flavor but without a pungent smell or strong taste.

In addition, garlic powder doesn’t have any negative side effects like stomach upset since it’s not made from an onion-like plant. It’s important when using garlic powder instead of asafetida that you don’t overuse it so that your dish doesn’t end up tasting like garlic

3. Onion and garlic powder

Asafetida is a spice that many people don’t have in their kitchen, but onion and garlic powder are spices that most everyone has on hand.

When cooking Indian food, most of the ingredients are not readily available in grocery stores. One ingredient that is difficult to find substitutes for is asafetida, which is a pungent spice made from dried and ground stems or roots of certain plants.

Asafetida has been used for centuries in many Asian and Middle Eastern countries like India. It’s often used to flavor lentils, beans, rice dishes and other foods cooked with onion and garlic powder.

4. Onion paste

I have been cooking for years and I can tell you that when it comes to Indian food, there are certain ingredients that are hard to find. One of these is asafetida- a spice used in some traditional dishes like dal or sambar.

As it turns out, onion paste makes a pretty good substitute for asafetida since they both share similar flavors. It also has other benefits such as being cheaper than buying dried spices from the store.

So next time you’re making an Indian dish and can’t find this try onion paste.

5. Garlic and onion paste

Many Indian dishes rely on the use of asafetida for flavoring. A popular replacement is garlic and onion paste. However, these substitutes can be difficult to find outside of India.

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The next time you are making an Indian dish at home, try substituting with garlic and onion paste for asafetida!

6. Garlic sauteed in ghee

Garlic sautéed in ghee can be substituted for asafetida in many recipes such as beans, lentils, chickpeas or even potatoes. Asafetida is traditionally used to reduce flatulence but garlic’s benefits include helping with digestion and boosting the immune system.

Garlic sautéed in ghee tastes delicious too! I call it “the DIY asafetida” because it functions so well but costs less than its more potent counterpart.

7. Minced onion and minced garlic

I love Indian cooking, but it sometimes isn’t the easiest to make. Asafetida is a seasoning I have always had difficulty finding in stores and substituting with something else when I can’t find it.

The other day, I was preparing an onion dish and realized that all of my asafetida jars were empty. In order to avoid making a trip to the store for one ingredient, I decided to use minced onion and garlic instead.

It turns out that this substitution worked really well! The result was not only tasty but smelled amazing too!

8. Onion powder

A great substitute for asafetida would be onion powder because it provides a similar flavor profile minus the smell!

9. Shallots and minced Garlic

Asafetida has a strong odor and flavor that can be overwhelming for some people. But with substitutes like shallots and garlic, you can still cook your favorite Indian dish without the intense smell of asafetida.

10. Chives and minced garlic

Asafetida is a spice that smells like garlic and onions. It has been used in cooking since ancient times, but can be hard to find these days.

You can use chives or minced garlic instead of asafetida, although it won’t have the same flavor profile.

So if you’re looking for a substitute for asafetida with similar flavors to garlic and onion try using chives and minced garlic!

DIY Asafetida

The recipe for homemade asafetida is simple and can be made at home with ingredients that are usually found in your kitchen.

In a container put equal parts of onion powder, celery seeds, curry powder, and cumin.

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How To Store Asafetida?

Asafetida is an interesting spice. It has a strong, pungent flavor that is often used to replace garlic or onion in certain dishes.

Asafetida can be found as a powder, paste, or liquid, and its origin is believed to date back over 4,000 years ago! After cooking with it for so long I have come up with some helpful tips on how to store this amazing spice.

Below are 3 ways you can store your asafetida:

In the freezer – Freezing will help preserve the intensity of the flavor;

In a container with oil – Adding oil will help maintain freshness;

Using an airtight container- Just like everything else in life, oxygen causes spoil.

Final Thoughts

These substitutes for asafetida should help you in your culinary endeavors. If there are any ingredients we missed, please comment below and share with us!

We hope this list of 10 Amazing Substitutes For Asafetida has been helpful to you and that it will help make cooking a little more accessible for the home cook.

Let us know what other substitutions you have found useful or which ones were not mentioned on our list by leaving a comment below. Happy cooking!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is asafetida used in cooking?

Asafetida is a spice that many cooks are unfamiliar with. It comes from the resin of an eastern Mediterranean plant called Ferula asafoetida. This spice is used to add flavor and depth to Indian, Middle Eastern, Mexican, and European dishes. A very distinctive smell accompanies it when mixed into food but this smell quickly dissipates once cooked in oil or heated on the stovetop. The taste itself is hard to describe but can be described as slightly garlicky or oniony with a hint of lemon.

What does asafoetida taste like?

Asafoetida is a spice that has an extremely pungent odor and flavor. It is most commonly used in Indian cuisine where it goes by the name hing. The exact taste of asafoetida varies depending on which kind you use, but can range from mint to onion or garlic flavors.
It also has a strong smell that lingers for some time, so be sure not to prepare this dish until just before serving!

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