As you know, I'm always on the look out for interesting new flavours. This is a really unusual one, by name and by nature!
Asafoetida is a strange spice which definitely improves with cooking. It originates from a resin-like gum extracted from the sap in the roots and stem of the plant. This is then dried, ground and used a spice.
This Schwartz variety is mixed with turmeric and rice flour. I'm only just getting to grips with it, but am finding, used sparingly, that it is a great seasoning for stir fries or curries.
It works particularly well with my
SMASH & GRAB:"When All Else Fails"... Garlic, Cauliflower and Broccoli recipe, as the rice flour helps to thicken the cooking liquid slightly. I literally shake a tiny amount into the pan when I am frying the garlic and cauliflower.
Asafoetida has to be fried to bring out its good qualities. Uncooked, it has a pungent and not particularly pleasant aroma. Once heated, however, it takes on a garlicky/onion flavour. Traditionally, it is used in Indian vegetarian dishes such as dhal, to balance out salty and sour flavours.
Another great quality of Asafoetida is that it is said to reduce flatulence- very useful when eating lots of veggies!