Asafoetida is not only a spice, but it is also very good in curing many stomach problems. It is a resin collected from the roots of fennel plants. It has a very pungent and bitter smell, but it gives a perfect taste to the dishes. Asafoetida is mostly used in Asian countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India especially. Indian people consider this spice as an essential in their traditional dishes like daal, curries, etc.
Like all spices, asafoetida can also go bad but rarely. If the spice is stored properly, then there is no chance of it getting spoiled. Asafoetida comes in both raw and grounded form. The most usual form of asafoetida that is easily available in the grounded form mixed with flour and is served as a spice for you. The raw form of asafoetida is very hard to be crushed at home.
You will find all about asafoetida’s shelf life, storing methods, and stuff in the following article, so read on.
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How to Store Asafoetida?
You have to store asafoetida in very proper and double packaging. This is because its smell is very strong and harsh. It is also called “Food of the Devils” or “Devil’s Hung” due to its bad smell. Also, the more perfectly it is stored, the longer it will stay good for you. The method to store asafoetida is the same as all other spices.
Store Zip-lock Bags
As asafoetida is a spice, so it will not go bad at room temperature. You can use zip-locked bags to store asafoetida. You should use at least two bags to pack the spice because of its strong odor. Also, make sure that packets of asafoetida are placed away from moisture and humidity; otherwise, they may go bad. Due to the moisture, the spices catch mold very fast.
Store Glass Jars
You can also store asafoetida spice in glass jars. Ensure that the jars are tightly closed every time you use the spice to prevent the smell from spreading through your house. If grounded spices are exposed to air, they go bad very quickly. So, there should be no way for air to enter the jars where you store the spice.
Store a Dark and Cool Place
Always consider storing your spices in a cool and dark place. Neither light nor heat is good for the spices. If the spices are places in such conditions, they go soggy, and the powder form of the spices gets ruined. So, the darker and cooler the place is, the better it is for your spice.
Store in the refrigerator
You can also store asafoetida in the refrigerator if it is in its raw form. Make sure to seal your spice in an airtight jar or something to prevent its smell from ruining your food materials present in the refrigerator.
Can you Freeze Asafoetida?
If you have the raw form of asafoetida at home and want to store it, you can put it in the freezer. Only the lump form of asafoetida can be stored in the freezer. Make sure that your product is properly sealed in any freezer bag or an airtight jar. Otherwise, the smell of the spice will ruin all of your things placed in the freezer.
Freezing the powdered form of asafoetida is not a good idea. The frozen powdered spices are difficult to use because they cannot be defrosted easily. So, never freeze grounded asafoetida.
How long does Asafoetida last?
Spices last long. Similarly, asafoetida also lasts long. It has quite a long shelf life. Unless it is stored properly, you will get the most from your asafoetida. So, store it properly.
If you have your asafoetida in grounded form, then it will last a maximum of a year. This is an estimated time limit for asafoetida stored with all precautions, i.e., away from sunlight and moisture. On the other hand, if you store your asafoetida in the freezer, it will last for almost 2 years.
How to tell if Asafoetida is Bad?
Asafoetida is a perfect addition to your dishes. It is an alternative to garlic and onions in the dishes. It is used to balance the sweetness or saltiness of the dishes. It gives the dish a unique flavor. As we discussed before, asafoetida rarely goes bad. Only if it interacts with moisture or some unfavorable things, it goes bad.
Following are the signs and symptoms that indicate that your asafoetida is bad:
- If the asafoetida gets interacted with moisture, it catches mold. Toss your product immediately.
- If the spice, i.e., asafoetida, is exposed to air. It hardens and gets lumps in it. You should not use asafoetida in this condition.
- Do not use the spice if the best by date has passed.
- If you see any discoloration in your asafoetida, then stop using it and throw it away.
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.
- Rani Asafetida (Hing) Ground 3.75oz (106g) ~ All Natural | Salt-Free | Vegan | NON-GMO | Asafoetida Indian Spice | Best for Onion Garlic Substitute
- Inner Flame Hing – Asafetida Organic. Strong Taziki Hing For Hing Lovers
- Pure Indian Foods Best Hing Ever (Asafoetida Powder), 20g Glass Bottle
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