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Asafoetida- what do I do with it?

learningslo May 18, 2013 11:20 AM

While shopping at my nearest international foods mart, I came upon a container of asafoetida. Can I make anything with it other than dal?

  1. r
    Rasam May 19, 2013 10:06 AM

    The notion that "a little goes a long way" used to be true when the hing (=asafoetida) you got in the store was purer quality and stronger.

    Nowadays it is sold so much mixed with fillers, that you may have to use even up to twice the recommended amount in a recipe to get the aroma.

    Also keep in mind that the aroma in the bottle is very strong. Once the hing gets heated, it is magically tamed into a gentle fragrance. Truth is stranger than fiction!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Rasam
      HillJ May 19, 2013 02:46 PM

      All true to my experiencing using it and illustrated in the link I provided upthread. That certain something missing from a dish turned out to be asafoetida in several cases.

    2. p
      pine time May 19, 2013 09:11 AM

      When Mr. Pine was growing up in India, hing was also used as a poultice chest rub for colds. Phew!

      I use it in addition to onions and garlic in many Indian preparations. Caution, a little goes a long way.

      1. s
        Smellchipper May 18, 2013 12:24 PM

        Jain Buddhists use it in place of onion and garlic. If you watch Manjula on Youtube she uses it for tons of dishes. When I make Indian food on a weeknight I'll make it the Jain way cause chopping onions and garlic and then sauteeing them takes far longer (but tastes way better) than adding a pinch of hing (asafoetida). I store mine in a glass jar away from the kitchen.

        1. chefj May 18, 2013 11:56 AM

          It is often used to take the place of Onions and Garlic both of which are prohibited by certain Sects.

          1. HillJ May 18, 2013 11:52 AM

            When I started cooking Indian dishes, this primer helped me out. A little bit goes a long way.


            3 Replies
            1. re: HillJ
              learningslo May 19, 2013 06:28 AM

              Thanks for the link! Now I'm scared to open the container, but excited to experience the taste.

              1. re: learningslo
                HillJ May 19, 2013 06:28 AM

                I was the same way!

                1. re: learningslo
                  youareabunny May 19, 2013 09:38 AM

                  Keep the container in a container. Glass with a tight fitting lid works well.

              2. y
                youareabunny May 18, 2013 11:40 AM

                Boil potatoes, chop. Oil in pan, mustard seeds, asafetida, potatoes, sambar, salt.

                You can do other vegetables that way too.

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