Asafoetida in Indian Cooking

Asafoetida is a controversial seasoning. That's mostly because it smells bad. Its aroma, if aroma it can be called, is that of onions and sulfur. Not a prime candidate for adding it to food. Indeed if you smell this spice, a resin derived from the giant fennel, you may be inclined to wonder who was the first human to decide cooking with it. 

Well whoever that human was had a special instinct, because asafoetida is an amazing spice and it is a linchpin of Indian cooking. It is a must have in every kitchen that takes Indian cuisine seriously.

What is Asafoetida For?

Umami is one aspect of this seasoning. It adds a depth of flavour quite similar to garlic and onions, but its effect on the other spices of a dish is far more dynamic. It's an effect that has to be tried to be fully understood, but to put it simply, it brings flavours together. For vegetarian dishes especially, which require something like asafoetida to compensate for that hearty element traditionally imparted by meat, it is essential.

Storage of Asafoetida

Since asafoetida is so fragrant, you'll need to store it in something airtight. In addition, a container that is non-porous such as glass is preferred, since some plastics are porous enough for the aroma of spices to seep out. In order to prevent this spice from stinking up your cabinet, we recommend a 250 ml mason jar.

Asafoetida in Indian Cooking

Curious enough now to try it? If you want to try asafoetida, you can rely upon it to enhance most Indian meals. Generally, you'll want to add it in your first stage of cooking, which is tempering your spices. After a few (15-20) seconds of tempering, asafoetida's initially obnoxious smell should mellow, and you will be left with the delicious, mouth-watering fragrance of frying leeks. 

For any Master Indian spice kits, try adding this spice in the first or second stages. You will be amazed, and your Indian cooking will be just one step closer to perfection.

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