The Asafetida Substitutes (When You Just Can’t Find the Real Stuff)


If you’re one of the many people who are looking for an asafetida substitute because you’re allergic to the herb, don’t like the taste, or simply can’t find it in your area, don’t worry.

There are several asafetida substitutes that you can use in its place.

Here are the best asafetida substitutes that you can use in your cooking.

16 Asafetida Substitutes

1. Garlic Powder and Onion Powder

The scent of Asafetida is a combination of onion plus garlic aroma.  Its taste contains the onion’s sweetness and garlic’s pungency. 

That is why mixing them together brings the closest results to Asafetida. The mixture works particularly well for making meat marinades, soups, and stews.

How to Substitute

Mix ¼th teaspoon of onion powder and ¼th teaspoon of garlic powder. Use this mixture to substitute every ¼th teaspoon of Asafetida.

2. Garlic and Leeks

The mild taste of leeks and the sharp flavor of garlic together provide a very similar flavor to asafetida. 

How to Substitute

Take an equal quantity of garlic and leeks and sauté it in butter or any vegetable oil. You can use this preparation in the same way as asafetida.

Another method is to mix one-third teaspoon of chopped leeks, a single garlic clove, and ⅓rd. a teaspoon of onion powder.

Use this blend to replace half a teaspoon of Asafetida.

Try this ultimate creamy garlic potato and leek soup recipe:

3. Garlic Powder

The most easily available substitute

The flavor of garlic powder isn’t as strong as that of asafoetida, but it is quite similar.

Therefore, it acts as a great substitute in most recipes, including curries and sauces.

Also, it is one of the most commonly available ingredients that are likely to be found in your kitchen at all times.

How to Substitute

Use half a teaspoon of garlic powder to substitute one-fourth teaspoon of Asafetida. 

Watch this video to make a crispy garlic fried chicken using garlic powder:

4. Onion Powder

If you don’t like the unpleasant smell of asafetida, then onion powder is a must-try substitute.

Plus, most onion powders always contain a specific quantity of garlic. Hence, making it a near to perfect substitute. 

It works great as a salad and soup seasoning and also fits well into marinating sauces. 

How to Substitute

For every ¼th teaspoon of asafetida, take 1 teaspoon of onion powder.

Watch this video to make garlic chicken using onion powder:

5. Shallots

Shallots are somewhat similar to onions, but their flavor is milder. 

Hence, the quantity you use will vary depending on the dish you’re preparing. 

How to Substitute

Sauté a chopped shallot in oil or clarified butter to help it release all of its flavors. Then add it in the same manner as asafetida in any dish you like. 

Try this shallot masala curry recipe:

6. Minced Onion and Minced Garlic

If you don’t have onion and garlic powder, then you can also use a mixture of minced fresh onions and garlic to achieve a flavor similar to Asafetida. 

How to Substitute

Take minced onions and minced garlic in equal proportions and sauté them in clarified butter or oil.  Take ½ a teaspoon of this mixture to replace every one-fourth teaspoon of asafetida.

Try this Creamy Garlic Chicken Breast Recipe:

7. Chives 

Chives and onions belong to the same family, but chives have a milder flavor.

Also, using chives helps to maintain the texture of your dish along with keeping its volume consistent.

Hence, you wouldn’t observe a great change in your recipe when using it as a substitute.

While choosing chives, always go for garlic chives to achieve the closest flavor. 

Here is how you can make French Onion Soup using chives:

8. Garlic Flakes

Garlic flakes give your sauces, steaks, soups, stews, and meatloaves an amazing flavor. 

However, their flavor is less pungent than that of fresh garlic cloves. So, you must use a larger quantity.

How to Substitute

For every one-fourth teaspoon of Asafetida, take 1 teaspoon of garlic flakes. You can also use a higher quantity if needed.

9. Sauteed Garlic

Sauteed Garlic is the ideal alternative that you can readily add to chicken recipes, lentils, beans, and pea-containing dishes. 

Additionally, it also acts as a good seasoning for decorating dishes and goes well with sauteed kale and beans. 

How to Substitute

Sauté 2 garlic cloves in butter or oil. Use 1 teaspoon of sautéed garlic to substitute every half teaspoon of Asafetida.

Check out this video to make Garlic Sauteed Mushrooms:

10. Onion Paste

The taste of cooked asafetida heavily replicates the flavor of onions. 

It is a cheap and easily available substitute that offers a very similar flavor, especially for Indian dishes like Chicken Jalfrezi. 

However, you should not use caramelized onion paste since its mild flavor doesn’t match the intensity of asafetida. 

How to Substitute

To make onion paste, simply blend 3 to 4 onion cloves with a little bit of vinegar. You can also add any other spices as per your taste. Then take half a teaspoon of this onion paste to substitute for the asafetida in your recipe.

Watch this video to make Egg Curry using Onion paste:

11. Minced Shallots and Minced Garlic

Shallots closely resemble the flavor profile of onion but they contain a milder taste with a higher level of sweetness.

Garlic, as we have already discussed, mimics asafetida in smell and taste up to a large extent.

Therefore, a combination of these two brings about a similar taste to asafetida with a lesser intensity. 

How to Substitute

Combine equal quantities of minced shallots with minced garlic and sauté them together in butter or oil. You can add this mixture to any dish and adjust its quantity according to the taste you desire.

Here is how you can cook Chicken with Shallots and Garlic:

12. Garlic Chives

Garlic Chives contain a good amount of Vitamin C. Even though they don’t offer a highly intense flavor, they still provide your dish with a great texture and taste when used as an alternative. 

Always start by adding only a small quantity of garlic chives to your dish and then increase accordingly. 

Watch this video to know how you can make Crispy Garlic Chive Dumplings:

13. Fresh Wild Garlic Leaves

Wild Garlic Leaves contain an excellent amount of freshness, and their flavor is also somewhat similar to that of Asafetida powder.

So, if you can’t find any other suitable substitutes, then using chopped garlic leaves is a good idea.

How to Substitute

For every half teaspoon of asafetida, take 1 teaspoon of fresh wild garlic leaves.

Here’s how you can make wild garlic butter using fresh garlic leaves:

14. Dried Wild Garlic Leaves

Wild garlic leaves in their dried form are another excellent alternative.

You can easily find dried wild garlic leaves in the form of packaged seasoning in any nearby grocery. 

How to Substitute

Use two teaspoons of dried wild garlic leaves to replace half a teaspoon of asafetida. 

Try this recipe to make wild garlic pasta with lemon and parmesan:

15. Chives and Minced Garlic

To use this combination, first, sauté a few garlic cloves in oil or butter, and then towards the end, add some chopped chives to create the flavor of asafetida. 

How to Substitute

For each half teaspoon of Asafetida, mix ½ handful of chives and 2 garlic cloves. 

Check out this video to make Thai steamed Garlic Chives Cake:

16. Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds contain an intense aniseed taste with a licorice flavor that makes them a good alternative. 

To use it as a substitute, you can take either whole fennel seeds or their powdered form. However, fennel tea will give you a much stronger flavor to create a taste that resembles asafetida.

Here is how you can make Fennel Sausage Frittata: 


Q1. What does Asafetida taste like?

Ans. Asafetida has a distinct savory taste that can be described as an entirely natural Indian Monosodium Glutamate.

Q2. How do I substitute onions for Asafetida?

Ans. To use onion as an alternative, you can use two-thirds cups of minced onion for every half teaspoon of Asafetida powder. 

Q3. How much asafetida to use instead of garlic?

Ans. You can take two minced garlic cloves to replace ½ teaspoon of Asafetida powder.

Bottom Line

Asafetida is a unique spice with a strong flavor, so it can be difficult to find a good substitute.

But with a little creativity, you can find a replacement that will work well in your recipe.

If you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends and family!

Thanks for reading!


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About Tammy J

Tammy is currently studying in college. While attending, she has broadened her horizons by experimenting with food from all over the world, but she has a special love for Mexican and Indian cuisine. She loves traveling with her friends, and enjoys nothing more than packing up a few backpacks and hitting the open road to explore natural beauty.