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Friday, 6 July 2012


What is Asafoetida

Asafoetida is a dried, resinous gum collected from three species of the Ferula (Giant Fennel) plant which is then ground to a fine powder. It has a very strong, pungent smell and the flavour mellows as it is fried in oil. When cooked it has a truffle-like flavour and a roasted garlic aroma. 
The species is native to the mountains of Afghanistan, and is mainly cultivated in nearby India.Asafoetida has a pungent, unpleasant smell when raw, but in cooked dishes, it delivers a smooth flavor, reminiscent of leeks. 

Health Benefits
  • Asafoetida is good for relieving flatulence and also cures spasmodic disorders.
  • Asafoetida is used to treat respiratory problems like bronchitis, asthma and whooping cough. The medicinal recipe for this medicinal concoction is – 3-6 cm of asafetida gum with 2 spoons of honey, a spoonful of betel leaf juice and a quarter spoon of white onion juice. If a person suffering from a respiratory disorder takes this concoction thrice a day, he/she will recover quickly.
  • Asafoetida is also used to treat nervous disorders in children.
  • Asafoetida is supposed to be useful in treating a host of problems in women, like leucorrhoea, difficult and painful menstruation, premature labor, unwanted abortion and sterility.
  • Another of asafetida health benefits includes treating impotency. It is said that a mixture of 6 centigrams of asafetida, fried in ghee/clarified butter and mixed with a spoonful of fresh latex from a banyan tree and honey, should be taken every day for 40 consecutive days before sunrise.
  • Asafoetida is also good for stomach disorders. It is a good cure for flatulence and excessive gas, and is also good for digestion.
  • Asafoetida is prescribed to women after childbirth. Since it is good for digestion and has anti-flatulence properties, this herb is beneficial for women during the post-delivery period.
  • Asafoetida can bring relief from a toothache. Pounced in lemon juice, asafetida becomes warm, a quality that brings relief to an aching tooth. Then a cotton swab dabbed in this mixture can be placed on the cavity to bring relief.
  • Asafoetida is a sedative and it can also help in lowering blood pressure. It is also said to thin the blood. Thus, while asafetida is good for adults, it isn’t good for infants.
  • Since asafetida has an unpleasant smell, it acts as a natural pesticide.

Medical disclaimer:
The information and reference guides in this website are intended solely for the general information for the reader. It is not to be used to diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes. It is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your health care provider for any advice on medications.
Names In Other Languages for cumin seeds (Arabic, Assamese, Bengali,Chinese, French, German, Gujarati,Hindi, Kannada, Malay, Malayalam, Oriya, Sinhala, Spanish, Tamil, Telugu, Turkish, Urdu):

Nutritional value

Note: * Nutritive value / 100 gms of raw ingredients   

Read more:Nutrition Value in ASAFOETIDA

Asafoetida Substitute

  • For ½ teaspoon asafoetida, one can use 2 peeled and minced garlic cloves. Then sauté in some ghee or vegetable oil and you'll never really know the difference!
  • Those who want a dominant onion flavor, can opt for ⅓ cup of minced leeks or onions along with a single clove of garlic, also minced, for to substitute for ½ teaspoon of asafoetida.
  • Also, you can substitute ¼ teaspoon of asafoetida with a blend of ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder and an equal portion of onion powder.
Where it can be used

This spice is used as a digestive aid, in food as a condiment, and in pickles. It typically works as a flavor enhancer and, used along with turmeric, is a standard component of Indian cuisine, particularly in lentil curries, such as dal, as well as in numerous vegetable dishes . It is especially widely used in Gujarati cuisine and Tamilnadu cuisine, which is mainly vegetarian, and is often used to harmonize sweet, sour, salty and spicy components in food. It is used to hallmark the taste of Tamilnadu sambar a saucy dish made with cereals and lentils.

How to Store

In its pure form, its odour is so strong the aroma will contaminate other spices stored nearby if it is not stored in an airtight container:

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