About Asafoetida Compound
Asafoetida is said to have originated in Rome, and despite not being a native of India, it has been used in Indian medicine and cookery for ages. It is a resin that is ochre in colour and it is most widely used in its powdered or granulated form, which are usually yellow in colour. The resin like gum is actually greyish white in colour when fresh, but dries to a dark amber colour. The resin is difficult to grate and is traditionally crushed using mortar pestle. In the raw form, the smell can be quite irritating, but once cooked, it changes in nature and imparts a very good aroma to the dishes. It is used commonly in Indian cuisine for flavouring. It is added in minute quantities as a powder, or when dissolved in water. Remember never to use asafoetida with onions and garlic, to prevent the dish from becoming overly flavoured. In fact, Jains and other communities who shun the use of onion and garlic use asafoetida as a substitute.