Using Asafoetida

Also Known As:

Giant fennel, devil's dung, asant, food of the gods, hing, and stinking gum.


Asafoetida is native to Iran. The spice is made from the dried resin like gum that comes from within the stem. When made into a ghee the smell and flavor will resemble sautéed onion or garlic. Some special diets and India don't eat onions and garlic, for these diets this spice is used as a substitute.



This spice has a strong pungent odor but when heated in oil, to make a ghee, the flavor will become much more pleasant and taste and smell similar to sautéed onion or garlic. Good in vegetarian cooking with legumes or vegetables like cauliflower.


Must be stored in airtight containers, asafoetida has a pungent odor and can contaminate other spices stored near by if not stored properly.

Interesting Facts:

A common know fact around the Texas/Mexican border is the smell of asafoetida is attractive to the wolf. Often used as a digestive aid to reduce flatulence, small amounts will be added to lentil dishes not just for it's flavor but for its digestive aid properties.


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By Karen Lawson (Guest Post)
September 23, 20080 found this helpful

I think this is the same stuff that my mom use to wrap in a little cloth and pin it in my shirt!!!! I think it was suppose to keep you from catching germs!!!! Probably no one could get near you for the odor! LOL!!!!! I think it was common practice back in those days. Now I am telling my age!!!

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