The Asafoetida is a very used spice. It is the dried form of latex that comes from taproots or rhizomes of different Ferula species. Asafoetida is used for making various cuisines. The plant of this spice belongs to the celery family. The Asafoetida has a very sharp and powerful smell. That’s why sometimes, it is also called Devil’s dung. Most people may find it a little unpleasant. However, while cooking, it adds more to the flavor and taste. And because it is cooked with the dish, the smell vanishes when fully cooked.
Asafoetida has various names that differ from country to country. This spice was originated in Afghanistan and Iran. It was found in the deserts and mountains there. Still, people in the mountains of Afghanistan and deserts of Iran grow a good amount of Asafoetida. So, you can find plenty of this spice in these countries.
Though it started in Iran, now Asafoetida is used in almost every country. First, it was introduced in Europe during Alexander the Great’s time. Then, and slowly and gradually, it was introduced in different parts of the world. Now, Asafoetida has become an important part of every kitchen and recipe.
What does Asafoetida Look Like?
Asafoetida is like a resin gum. It has a greyish-white color when it is fresh. However, when you dry it, it changes its color to an amber color. Therefore, you need a special grinder to grate it. That’s why people mostly use stone and hammers to crush it. It is one of the traditional techniques that people still use. The ground form of Asafoetida looks like rice flour and maida. But you should not confuse both because both of these are different from each other.
Where does Asafoetida Come From?
Asafoetida comes from the Ferula assafoetida plant that belongs to the Apiaceae family of plants. It is herbaceous. monoecious and perennial plant. The plant grows around 6.6 feet tall. Moreover, the plant also has a circular mass of 12 to 16 inches of leaves. The flowers of Asafoetida’s plant have pale greenish-yellow color that is produced in umbels. Besides, its fruits are thin, flat, and reddish-brown with milky juice. All plants of Asafoetida have distinctive smells.
How is Asafoetida Made?
Making Asafoetida is super easy. You can also try it and make it in your home. For making it at home, you should take bars of Asafoetida. Afterward, microwave it at a normal cooking temperature for two or three minutes. When done, take it out of the microwave. You will see that the bar has puffed up, and its weight will be lighter. Then, let it cool down for a while. Once it completely cools down, you can put it plastic cover or bag. Next, use a rock to crush it. You can also use a hammer for crushing it. Continue crushing it unless it turns into small pieces. Now, you can use a blender to transform it into powder form.
What Does Asafoetida Taste Like?
The Asafoetida has a little leek and garlic taste. Most people say that it has a bitter taste; that’s why it is called devil’s dung.
How is Asafoetida Used in Cooking?
Along with adding spice, Asafoetida is used as an aid for better digestion while cooking. It is normally used like condiments in foods. Asafoetida is normally used in the vegetarian cuisine of India due to its sharp taste. It is a standard component like turmeric powder. People mostly heat Asafoetida in boiling oil. And afterward, they sprinkle it on the food. Sometimes, it is also used to harmonize different ingredients like sweet, salt, spice, and sour. Moreover, Asafoetida can also be used on a salad like salt. Just sprinkle it on your food.
What Types of Cuisines Use Asafoetida?
As stated above, Asafoetida is normally used in vegetarian cuisines. It is used for making lentil curries, for example, dal, vegetables, and chickpea curries. Some vegetable recipes that include Asafoetida as key ingredients are cauliflower and potato.
Besides, Asafoetida is used in almost all south Indian and Punjabi cuisine of India. It is due to its great flavor and taste that it makes even boring vegetables tasty. Asafoetida is also an important component of Kashmiri cuisine. In some regions, Asafoetida is also used in mutton and lamb dishes. One example is Rogan Josh.
What is an Asafoetida Substitute?
If you don’t have Asafoetida, then don’t worry because it has few substitutes. You can use onion powder and garlic powder. Moreover, you can also use minced garlic cloves and minced yellow onion as its substitute.
Where to Buy Asafoetida?
If you are searching for some best Asafoetida and could find one, we have few suggestions.