Bursting With Fresh Winter Ingredients – Fresh Ginger, Leeks and asafoetida: A delicious recipe for cold weather days.

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Creamy, spicy asafoetida and leek soup is a traditional winter warmer. Better still, it’s a snap to make with minimal effort.

The ginger and leek base is delicate in flavor but packs a punch with the addition of asafoetida. Topped off with cilantro and lemon, you get an extra burst of freshness that will wake up your taste buds.

This recipe comes compliments of Kisha Pertierra, who runs the popular site, FatFree Vegan Kitchen [1]. Here she shares her simple lentil soup recipe that will warm you right up on those cold winter days.

Asafoetida is a strong smelling spice used commonly in Indian cooking. It imparts a slightly pungent, cabbage-like flavour to dishes, and is an ideal accompaniment to cumin and coriander. It is made from the resin of a giant fennel-like plant.

You can find it in any Indian grocery store in the US.

1/2 pound leeks, cleaned and cut into pieces

Heat 2 tbs of the oil in a pot over medium heat and add the asafoetida, stirring for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.

Add the potatoes, turmeric and salt, stirring until well coated with oil. Pour in 1 cup water or broth and bring to a boil.

Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the green beans, carrots, peas and cauliflower. Cover again and cook for 15 minutes more or until vegetables are tender but not mushy.

Add the cilantro in the last 2 minutes of cooking time.

Remove from heat and stir in remaining oil (and ghee if desired) then serve immediately with Naan bread or basmati rice.’

Asafoetida, a pungent spice that smells like a cross between garlic and onions, is the dried resin from the sap of the giant fennel plant. Native to Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, it has been used in Indian cooking for centuries. The ancient Greek physician Dioscorides described it as “a repellent of serpents,” which may be one reason that it was historically mixed with chilies and other spices to make masala for protection against snake bites. It is available at Indian grocery stores and some specialty food stores. This recipe was adapted from “The New York Times Cookbook.”

Tamarind Chutney:

1 small onion, peeled and coarsely chopped

Cilantro leaves from 3 sprigs (about 1/4 cup), coarsely chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

Asafoetida may seem like an odd ingredient, but it adds an indescribable savoriness to certain dishes. It is also used in conjunction with fresh ginger to flavor meats. This recipe is a wonderful way to use asafoetida; it’s great as part of a multicourse meal or as a side dish.*

This is from an old, old cookbook called “The Cook’s Oracle”, published in 1723. It’s basically a collection of recipes for cooking with simple ingredients – meat, fish, fowl, eggs, butter, cheese, milk and such.

In this recipe the asafoetida (Ferula assafoetida) makes its second appearance in my blog. The first time was with the Mutton Curry with Asafoetida and Ginger . Actually I used to add asafoetida to everything I cooked when I was younger. Nowadays I use it much more sparingly but I still have some in the kitchen cupboard.

It is a very strong aromatic resin obtained from the dried rhizome and roots of a perennial herb native to Western Asia and North Africa. In some countries it is known as food of the poor because it has been used as a substitute for other, more expensive spices. The taste resembles that of garlic or onion, but is far stronger.

A little bit goes a long way so be careful not to use too much: 1/4 tsp should be sufficient. And because it tastes like garlic and onion you can add it to almost any savoury dish – stews etc., or anything you

Asafoetida is a very useful ingredient, offering a flavour that is both ‘earthy’ and ‘salty’ at the same time. It comes from the root of the giant fennel plant. The taste is quite strong and not everyone likes it, but those who do use it regularly in vegetarian cooking.

Asafoetida has been used for over 4,000 years in India and was an important medicinal herb to the ancient Greeks and Romans. It was popular with the Victorians for its medicinal qualities, as well as being widely used by poor communities for its nutritional content.

Asafoetida enhances flavours of other ingredients without overpowering them. It works especially well with fish dishes such as kedgeree or pies, as well as roasted vegetables and pulses. It is good in stews and soups – particularly lentil soup – and gives a good flavour to vegetable dishes such as cauliflower cheese.

It can be used in small amounts when cooking meat or poultry dishes to give them a more interesting flavour, while not being strong enough to make them taste “vegetarian”.

Asafoetida should be stored in an airtight container away from heat and light (otherwise it loses its flavour). Once opened,

The name is derived from the Persian “asafoetida”, which means “innate,” which refers to its strong and distinctive odor. The spice is often used in curries that are eaten in India, Pakistan and Iran.

Tambaku is a Hindi word for asafoetida, and also refers to the asafoetida plant. This plant has been used for centuries in traditional Indian medicine, particularly as an aid to digestion.

Asafoetida is a spice that is usually used in Indian cooking. It has a distinct sulphurous smell, but when cooked it imparts a smoky flavor to the food.

It is native to Iran, Afghanistan and southern Turkmenistan. The Indian subcontinent is the largest producer, but it is also grown in Iran and Pakistan.

Asafoetida is obtained from the rhizome of certain species of Ferula, a perennial herb of the umbelliferae family. The spice was used as far back as 3000 B.C., with evidence of its use found in ancient Egyptian and Indian texts.

The name asafoetida comes from the Persian word ‘asafetida’, which means ‘devil’s dung’. This refers to its unpleasant smell.

Asafoetida is widely used in Indian curries as a condiment and flavoring agent. In some parts of India, particularly Maharashtra where Mumbai is located, it is used more commonly than black pepper and cardamom. It has a pungent smell but does not lend any flavor to the food except for an onion-like odor when raw that disappears when cooked.

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