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How to Use Asafetida in Indian Food

Learn about the spice asafetida and how it's used in Indian recipes from cookbook author Maya Kaimal in this Howcast Indian food video.


[Background music] We're talking about asafoetida. Asafoetida is a spice that's used in Indian cooking. It actually comes from the middle east but it's used primarily in India. Its the powdered resin of a fennel like plant and they powder it and mix it with a little bit of rice flower and turmeric. So the turmeric's giving it that yellow color and the rice flower is helping to keep it rather dry. Now asafoetida has a really strong smell. It's kind of a sulfur sort of rotten egg smell is the best way to describe it but when it cooks it totally transforms. When you drop just a pinch, you don't need very much of it. Drop just a pinch in hot oil. It changes into a wonderful sort of garlicky, earthy aroma. And it's used a lot in legume dishes like daals [sounds like] and sombar which is a South Indian lentil and vegetable soup. One thing to know about asafoetida, keep it in an air tight container. It will keep it fresh for longer and it also will keep it from smelling up your whole cupboard.

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