Asafoetida / Hing Powder (Ferula Assa-Foetida)
Asafoetida or Hing is a gum from a variety of giant fennel that has a strong and pungent odor, similar to rotting garlic. It’s a very useful spice for those who can’t or won’t eat onion or garlic, as it adds a similar depth and a savory, umami quality to cooked dishes.
A pinch of ground Hing goes a long way and it should be used sparingly. You’ll quickly discover if you like it more or less, and there’s no harm done if you use too much – longer cooking mellows it. To release the true flavor of Hing, you have to sauté it in oil or ghee for 5 to 10 seconds, until its pungency is dramatically obvious – make sure you have the extractor on or the window open – then add other ingredients to stop it from burning. It is then poured over cooked lentils for aroma and flavor and along with other spices, can be used to season vegetables and beans, curries, and stews or to make fruit chutneys.
◉ Spices should be stored in airtight glass containers -in a cool, dark, and dry area- to preserve their flavor.