The 11 Best Substitutes For Asafoetida

What can I use instead of Asafoetida? The best single-ingredient asafoetida substitutes are garlic, shallots, chives, onion paste, garlic flakes, garlic powder, or onion powder. However, for best results, combine the garlic powder and onion powder or minced garlic and shallots, onions, or leeks, to perfectly mimic asafoetida. 

Asafoetida, also known as stinking gum, is a spice or dried gum made from fennel plants. Despite its derogatory name, the pungent spice offers a savory, garlicky-onion flavor to many Asian and Middle Eastern dishes.

Unfortunately, however, asafoetida isn’t always to lay hands on. So, let’s look at the 11 best substitutes for this flavorsome spice

The Best Substitutes For Asafoetida

Sautéed Garlic

One of the best substitutes for asafoetida is sautéed garlic. You can play around with the garlic varieties for slightly different flavors.

We recommend sautéing the garlic in ghee (clarified butter) for a delicious buttery finish. However, you can also use vegetable oil.

Finely dice two fresh garlic cloves, grab a decent pan, and sauté the garlic in a dollop of ghee. Use a teaspoon of sautéed garlic for every ½ teaspoon of asafoetida. Pretty easy, right?

Sautéed Shallots

Shallots belong to the onion family and offer a similar flavor profile to asafoetida. However, while similar to onions, shallots lend a mild and sweeter taste, closer to asafoetida.

Sauté chopped shallots in ghee or vegetable oil to release the full flavor mimics asafoetida. Add them to your dish once soft and fragrant.

You can start with a teaspoon of sautéed shallots for every ½ teaspoon of asafoetida and add more if desired.


Chives are also part of the same family as onions. However, they boast a milder flavor than onions, making them a better substitute for asafoetida.

Suppose you can find garlic chives, even better! Garlic chives lend a mild garlic and onion taste even closer to asafoetida.

Chives lend a very mild flavor without altering the texture and volume of your dishes. So, there is no limit to using them in your recipes.

Start by adding a few chives or garlic chives to your cooking and increase the quantity until you reach the desired taste.

Onion Paste

Cooked asafoetida has a similar taste to onions. Therefore, you can use onion paste as a suitable replacement.

However, ensure you use regular onion paste instead of caramelized onion paste, as the latter’s flavor is too mild.

Pop three onions into the food processor and blend them into a fine mixture or paste. We recommend adding two or three garlic cloves for the perfect asafoetida substitute.

Use around ½ teaspoon onion paste in your recipes and slowly increase the ratio if necessary.

Garlic Flakes

Garlic flakes are an effortless way to mimic the flavor of asafoetida in recipes.

Garlic flakes are dried or dehydrated and lend a similar yet milder flavor to fresh garlic. So, you’ll want to increase your portions when replacing asafoetida with garlic flakes.

Use one teaspoon garlic flakes for every ¼ teaspoon asafoetida.

Garlic Powder

Garlic powder is another simplistic asafoetida substitute that you can use in curries and sauces.

However, garlic powder delivers a less concentrated flavor to asafoetida. So, only use it if asafoetida isn’t the star of the recipe.

We recommend slightly more garlic powder than asafoetida due to its milder taste. So, use approximately ½ teaspoon garlic powder for every ¼ teaspoon asafoetida.

Onion Powder

Onion powder generally contains garlic powder, making it an even better replacement for asafoetida. However, like garlic powder, only use onion powder if asafoetida isn’t the primary flavor in the recipe.

Onion powder will offer subtle flavors that resemble asafoetida without overpowering or changing the entire flavor of the dish.

Start by using one teaspoon of onion powder for every ¼ teaspoon asafoetida, and add slightly more if you enjoy the prominent onion flavor.

Onion powder is perfect for soups, marinades, veggies, and salad dishes.

Minced Garlic and Shallots

Many home cooks love the flavor but hate the smell of asafoetida. Substituting this pungent spice with minced garlic and shallots is the perfect way to mimic the delicious taste without the intense aroma.

Sauté equal proportions of minced garlic and shallots in clarified butter or vegetable oil before adding to your dish.

Add the mixture to your recipe using one teaspoon of minced garlic and shallots for every ½ teaspoon asafoetida.

You can always add more of the minced garlic and shallots mixture until you reach the desired taste.

Minced Garlic and Onions

Although more intense and less sweet, you can use onions instead of shallots combined with minced garlic as an asafoetida substitute.

Sauté equal proportions of minced garlic and onions in clarified butter or vegetable oil before adding to your recipe.

Add around one teaspoon of minced garlic and onions for every ½ teaspoon asafoetida. Of course, you can always add more garlic and onion mixture for a more robust flavor.

Minced Garlic and Leeks

Double the garlic flavor with minced garlic and leeks when substituting asafoetida.

Minced garlic and leeks pack a powerful punch of flavor.

You can sauté equal amounts of garlic and leeks in clarified butter or vegetable oil.

Alternatively, try sautéing ⅓ teaspoon minced leeks, one garlic clove, and ⅓ teaspoon onion powder for the perfect asafoetida replacement.

Substitute asafoetida with the minced garlic and leeks mixture using a 1:1 ratio.

Garlic Power and Onion Powder

Combine garlic powder and onion powder for a more robust, distinct flavor when substituting asafoetida. The combination will mimic the sweet onion and pungent garlic taste of asafoetida.

Substitute ¼ teaspoon garlic and onion powder for ¼ teaspoon asafoetida.