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What is asafetida

asked by a Whole Foods Market Customer over 4 years ago
4 answers 3251 views
23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 4 years ago

It's a powder we use in Indian food. Gives a certain tang....somewhat lemony but not as acidic. when using, use a very light hand.

0bc70c8a e153 4431 a735 f23fb20dda68  sarah chef

Sarah is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 4 years ago

It is a resin powder and has a *very* particular taste. Use only 1/8 of a teaspoon, if that, in most dishes and in most recipes you can leave it out completely. Raw it's rather unpleasant to smell, once cooked it's slightly garlicky.

It is also known as hing and is used in Ayurvedic medicine as a digestive.

6f611b78 35b4 4186 89ad c38b035b32f3  08270410avatar messbrasil
added over 4 years ago

I've never heard of it but the question caught my atention because "asa fétida" in Portuguese means "stinky wing".I thought I'd check the "joke" and ended up learning something new...

67544da8 1862 4539 8ec8 2d9dfc2601bb  dsc 0122.nef 1
added over 4 years ago

Its the dried powdered form of a resin obtained from a variety of the fennel plant. As its name suggests, the aroma of the raw spice is practically fetid, extremely acrid. Its sold either as whole bricks which can be pinched off & used as needed (the texture of the block ranges from leathery to just plain rock hard), either by dissolving in water or microwaving it to a puffed up ball which can later be grated into a dish.
Its mostly used as a powdered spice though. As terrible as it smells raw, the minute you add (just a pinch, NEVER more) it to hot oil, the spice odor transforms into a delightlful onion/garlic aroma.
Its extensively used in Indian cuisine, particularly in regional religious dishes where onions & garlic are prohibited.