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Allergic to onions and garlic! Sad news for someone who loves to cook and experiment with new recipes. Ideas for substitutions?

Shallots and scallions are out too. I love ginger, but not always a good match. Indian recipes have worked well with so many other flavors, I don't miss the onions and garlic. Looking for a way to add body to sauces and pastes...

Answer »
Hummusit added about 3 years ago

Tough one! You can use celery root and carrots to add body, and of course flour for thickness. For texture you might try fennel.

susan g added about 3 years ago

Look into asafetida.

Panfusine added about 3 years ago

A pinch of asafetida, thats what centuries of hindus who were discouraged from eating garlic & onions have been doing... Just a pinch of the powder when Sauteeing in hot oil, If you opt for the big blocks, then pop the entire brick for 30 S in a microwave. It softens & you can cut off small bits (They have the consistency of taffy, which will harden as they cool), when you need, just microwave the small pieces for ~ 40s, it puffs up into a crunchy ball, just grate off what you need & store the rest for later, one pack goes a LOOONG way. I use it daily & one container lasts me for ~ 6 months.. Its packaged under the brand name 'LG' ('hing', being the hindi name) comes in a white & blue plastic container. Any Indian store will have it. Just make sure you dont have any lumps in your final dish... its a HORRIBLE thing to taste uncooked

littleknitter added about 3 years ago

I've had good success with caramelizing fennel in a pan - the flavor ends up being similar to caramelized onions.

Are all alliums off limits, or are you able to eat leeks and shallots? If you are, those are definitely worth trying as a substitute too.

SKK added about 3 years ago

Agree with littleknitter about fennel both carmelized and roasted. I am addicted to the taste. Can you have chili peppers? If so, experiment with them. I add diced serrano or jalapeno to a number of things - sautee them first and go with a light hand.
They have more kick with the seeds than without. They add wonderful flavor.
Love the picture of your family!

Panfusine added about 3 years ago

Incidentally, Asafetida is a resin obtained from a plant in the fennel family..

traveling.ania added about 3 years ago

Hummusit is right about the celery root. I'd also recommend parsnips. Very underrated! Check out the latest recipe at www.sassyradish.com

nutcakes added about 3 years ago

food.com and tribe.net have onion allergy specific forums you might check out. Also there is a branch of Indian cookery that uses no onion or garlic and those recipes might be good to seek out.

Panfusine added about 3 years ago

Agree with nutcakes... check out Jain cuisine on the web, the Jain community in India does not touch garlic or onion..

Jean | Delightful Repast added about 3 years ago

I, too, am allergic to garlic--indeed a terribly difficult allergy for anyone seriously into food! I can eat onions only if they are cooked thoroughly. No problem with leeks or shallots. Can't think why that would be! Nothing is truly a substitute for garlic, but I've found that putting a lot of flavor into a dish with careful browning (as with the caramelized fennel mentioned above) and seasoning makes it so good that the garlic isn't missed.

lelialeary added about 3 years ago

I'm grateful for all the input. I've experimented with asafetida and couldn't get used to the smell. Maybe used too much? Will try celery roots, parsnips, carrots (all alliums are out)...
Chilis, yum!

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