A pungent scent of onion or sulphur, asafoetida is often used as a substitute
for onion or garlic.
Despite the pungent scent, the spice is a very useful addition to the
cupboard and complements many diverse dishes.
uses: Use as a garlic substitute
or add to vegetable curries
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recipe kits: , bombay potatoes, tarka dahl,
Origin: Middle East (Ours comes from: Pakistan)
A pungent scent of onion or sulphur, asafoetida is often used as a substitute for onion or garlic. Foetida means stinky in Latin, this will come quite apparent you open the jar to a very acrid, sulphuric smelling spice. Despite the pungent scent, the spice is a very useful addition to the cupboard and complements many diverse dishes.
Use sparingly and will need to be cooked in well to lose it sulphuric aroma. It will start to lose its aroma as it is heated and cooked into a dish, but well worth it as it adds a lovely savouriness to the dish.
A variety of fennel, asafoetida is harvested from the sap and allowed to dry into hard resinous clumps. It is ground with various starch products to create a more usable powder form. Ours is ground with fenugreek seeds. Some religious followers in India refuse to eat garlic or onion as they enflame the base senses so asafoetida is used as a substitute.
Digestive Aid, Traditionally used to treat asthma and bronchitis, And in ayuverdic medicine it is seen as having very balancing qualities.
Also known for its flu fighting qualities; people would walk around with small bags of asafoetida tied around their neck during the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic in the US. Although it was likely more fable than fact at the time, recent laboratory tests found its potential as an anti-viral drug for swine flu. Taking example of the long history of its use in folk medicine, medical research has begun looking at it closely for its potential as a preventative and cure for cancer.
Use as a garlic substitute or add to vegetable curries Just use a small pinch to be added into the oil at the start of cooking
Use in dahl, rasams or pulse curries as it aids digestion, also widely used in vegetable curries.
Tarka – fry 1 tsp mustard seeds, large pinch of curry leaves, and pinch of asafoetida. in oil and pour over dahl or rasam at the end of cooking. Adds a lovely texture, with crispy leaves, crunchy seeds, freshness – flavour is stronger, used effectively as a seasoning.
Key ingredient in Chaat Masala