Asafoetida (often called Hing) is a spice with a very strong and unique aroma. You might have smelled it in a curry or bhaji. For the uninitiated, it can perhaps be best described as a cross between garlic and rotten eggs. When used in cooking, it adds a savoury onion-garlic flavour to dishes. It is added to many vegetarian dishes, primarily for its digestive properties.
It is one of the most important ingredients in Indian cuisine, especially for those that are vegan or vegetarian. Asafoetida is also known as ‘hing’ and sometimes ‘devil’s dung’, which gives you an idea of its smell when raw!
Asafoetida (Hing) is a powerful spice that, when used correctly, can add a rich onion-garlic flavor to your cooking. Just be careful not to add too much or you’ll ruin your food!
Many people find the smell of asafoetida repulsive. In fact, it is so bad that I recommend storing it in an airtight container, and carrying it around in your pocket if you plan to use it often.
I also suggest that you get some small plastic bags for storing the unused powder. This way you can just put what you need into a bag, and bring it with you wherever you go.
Asafoetida is a pungent spice that has a unique taste and aroma. You may not have heard of it or used it before. However, asafoetida is one of the most interesting spices I’ve ever come across. It has a very distinct smell that is quite difficult to describe. The first time I used asafoetida, I was cooking an Indian dish and I thought I had done something wrong! It smelled so bad that I wanted to throw the whole thing out! But after cooking it for a little longer and tasting it, I found that all that smell had transformed into a wonderful savory flavor.
Asafoetida is also called hing, devil’s dung, stinking gum, food of the gods, giant fennel and ting. The last 3 names make more sense when you know that asafoetida is dried sap from the roots of Ferula species plants (Ferula asafoetida being the main source). You can find asafoetida in Indian grocery stores or on Amazon (the one linked below) in powdered form or in lumps that can be ground up in a coffee or spice grinder.
You do not want to eat asafo
Asafoetida, also known as hing, is a pungent, yellowish-brown powder derived from the dried latex gum of several species of the giant fennel plant. Also known as devil’s dung and stinking gum, it has a very strong aroma and flavor that can be described as a mix of garlic, onions, and somewhat like burnt rubber. Try it yourself: open a jar of asafoetida and give it a sniff. Intrigued?
It is used mainly in Indian cooking to add an onion-garlic flavor to dishes. In most Indian households, asafoetida is kept in small quantities in airtight containers to keep it fresh for long periods of time; likewise, you can store your hing in an airtight container away from light and heat in a cool dry place to keep it fresh. To measure out the right amount for your recipes, you may want to invest in a special utensil called an asafoetida box; this small box with its locking lid will allow you to dispense just the right amount without contaminating the rest of your stock.
In addition to its culinary uses, asafoetida has been used medicinally for centuries. It is
Asafoetida is a strong tasting food additive. It can simply be sprinkled onto food to impart its flavor, in the same way that salt or pepper is sprinkled onto food. It can also be used to make a sauce, which can then be added to the food.
If you have never tried asafoetida before, it is best to start with a small quantity, say 1/16 of a teaspoon, and increase the amount gradually until you reach an amount that you like. If you start with a large quantity, you will probably find it too strong.
Asafoetida has a very strong smell, but this smell disappears when it is cooked or heated in oil or ghee (clarified butter); all that remains is the taste.
The following recipes use asafoetida sauce (asafoetida dissolved in oil). One recipe uses raita (a yogurt based condiment) and the other uses dal (lentils). The two recipes are not authentic Indian recipes; they originate from my own experimentation with asafoetida.
Asafoetida is an Indian spice with a particularly strong odor. When it’s raw it smells bad, like rotten garlic. But when you cook it, it gives a nice onion-y flavor to food.
I’ve been talking about making some kind of Indian food for weeks now and finally got around to it yesterday. I used asafoetida in my lentil soup. Lentil soup is particularly susceptible to the “not great but not bad” problem: if you don’t do anything special, you end up with brown water that tastes like dirt. But with asafoetida, my lentils were delicious!
Asafoetida comes in solid form, a hunk of resin that looks rather like ginger root but has the consistency of dry turds. The most common form is to buy a little piece of this and grind off what you need with a grater or mortar and pestle. But I took the lazy man’s approach and bought mine already powdered.
Asafoetida is a resin that is obtained from the root of a plant in the Ferula genus. It has many names, including devil’s dung, food of the gods and stinking gum. Its sulphurous smell is why it is sometimes called devil’s dung.
Indians add it to curries because it adds a garlicky flavor, similar to onions. Some people say that it should be used in moderation, but others use it frequently.
I am going to explain how I use asafoetida on a regular basis. I think you’ll find that you can use it too, even if you’re not an Indian cook.