Asafoetida Substitutes

Asafoetida Substitutes

This article provides an overview of asafoetida, what it tastes like, its availability, alternative names, and of course what other ingredients make asafoetida substitutes.

What is Asafoetida?

Asafoetida is the dried latex released from the tap root of many species of perennial herbs. The species are native to Iran and Afghanistan and the spice is used in cooking as a digestive aid, condiment, or for pickling.

Asafoetida in its pure form is sold as chunks of resin, where the odor is so strong, that it can contaminate other spices stored nearby.

What does Asafoetida taste like?

Asafoetida is usually not eaten alone, but added to Indian dishes such as curries or dal, to enhance savory flavors, especially in vegetarian dishes. Despite its pungent smell, it creates a delicious burnt onion and garlicky flavor, that can truly enhance the dish.

Is Asafoetida readily available in Supermarkets?

Although not as popular as other spices, asafoetida in a powdered form should be available in major supermarkets, where it will be located in the herbs and spices aisle. If looking for the pure form, you may have to try an Asian supermarket or a specialty online retailer.

What are some alternative names for Asafoetida?

Asafoetida is often spelled as asafetida. Due to its pungent smell, asafoetida is sometimes referred to as ‘stinking gum’ or ‘devil’s dung’. 

What is a good substitute for Asafoetida in recipes?

Luckily, there are a number of great substitutes for asafoetida. These include: