It is better not to taste the spice in its raw form as it may make you experience why it is known as the devil's dung. Asafetida is a must-have spice in every Indian home, and it is worth it. Not only does the spice make the dishes taste unique, but it has many health benefits like combating flatulence, eliminating respiratory problems, and also aids digestion. It may be useful to understand the uses of the spice to know asafetida beyond its strange smell.
The appearance of Asafetida
To be precise, asafetida is a gum extracted from the roots of giant fennel-like plant species known as Avant. Thereby, asafetida comes either in the solid gum-like rock formations or as a coarse powder. Nowadays, asafetida is not prevalent in its solid lump form. It does not matter if asafetida is solid or rough in form since it can easily dissolve in water, just like salt or sugar.
The flavor of asafetida
As mentioned earlier, asafetida is a bitter and heavy spice in its uncooked or raw form, almost smelling like sulfur. So we can put the spice under the pungent or umami category of flavor. Being a spice with an unwelcome odor capable of creating wonders in enhancing the taste of the dish, it is a master of deceptions.
A ginger-garlic substitute
Asafetida is a regularly used spice in the vegetarian or Jain households of India who do not eat root vegetables like onions, ginger, and garlic. Thinking it the other way, you can use fresh garlic, shallots, or onion in place of asafetida. However, asafetida is beneficial for people allergic or intolerant to ginger and garlic.
The medicinal properties
There are several healing properties of the spice. A fine paste of asafetida can be applied to pimples, insect bites, and skin to reduce minor inflammation or itchiness and speed up the process of healing. The only thing to look into is that you can resist the strong raw smell of the spice or not.
How to use asafetida in cooking?
A little amount of the spice renders a strong taste, so it is advisable to use as less as half a teaspoon of asafetida to serve four people. It can be added during the cooking process, but it is better to add it in hot oil for a healthy, distinctive taste. Being best suitable for vegetarian recipes, asafetida can be added to lentil and vegetable soups. At the same time, you can also mix it with different spices to make a spice rub and pickles.
How to ensure proper storage of asafetida?
Keeping asafetida near other kitchen spices can make them lose their natural smell due to the pungent smell of asafetida. Thus, it is best to keep asafetida in a sealed airtight container maintaining a safe distance from all other spices. If the powder is stored correctly, it can last for almost a year in its best form.
Categories Simillar to Asafetida includes Anise Seeds, Caraway Seed and Cardamom Seed