Reddit reviews: The best asafetida

We found 8 Reddit comments discussing the best asafetida. We ran sentiment analysis on each of these comments to determine how redditors feel about different products. We found 7 products and ranked them based on the amount of positive reactions they received. Here are the top 20.

Top Reddit comments about Asafetida:

u/2Cuil4School · 3 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

It's very worthwhile, especially if you happen to live near an Indian/international market of some sort and can get the spices cheap (but even ordering online is pretty affordable!). I'm more than happy to help out or answer any questions you might have; I really love talking about this stuff :)

I, uh, have a really bad habit of writing small novels, so I'm appending TL;DR's to all of my answers upfront, haha. Enjoy, and best of luck in your cooking adventures!

> Could I substitute almonds for the cashews/peanuts without detracting too much from the flavor?

Almonds rather than cashews/peanuts should work just fine when it comes to making a nut paste or nut powder (e.g., for thickening sauces), and in fact, I see some recipes that call for almond powder, and my favorite local Indian mart sells it.

When it comes to recipes that call for whole cashews specifically, I'd consider slivered or chopped almonds in their place; whole almonds (especially when they get roasted/fried) are a little crunchier/harder than cooked cashews, so you'll want the pieces to be smaller so it doesn't throw off the texture. Other than that, it should be A-OK to make the switch.

TL;DR: Almonds should almost always work as a replacement, but remember they're harder, so consider using smaller pieces. Adjust cooking times to suit.

> Could I use almond milk in place of coconut milk?

Almond milk may not be quite as thick or sweet as coconut milk/cream (when I call for it in a recipe, I generally mean the canned stuff from the Asian food aisle), but if you like the flavor, I say go for it. Consider reducing the sauce a little more (simmer it longer) and maybe adding a sprinkle of sugar, honey, or jaggery (Indian palm or cane sugar). I'd say that in Thai cuisine, this substitution probably wouldn't fly (the coconut flavor is too intrinsic to the dish), but in other recipes, you might not need the flavor as much or could even be getting it from another source (like shredded coconut).

Particularly for the sambar, I'd maybe throw some dessicated coconut into a spice grinder and adding that, or grind a fresh coconut if you're feeling particularly adventurous. Since there's so much going on, flavor-wise, in sambar, you might never miss it, though. In fact, most sambar powder spice mixes include a little coconut already.

TL;DR: If the coconut flavor doesn't matter or comes from elsewhere, almond milk is A-OK. Cook a little longer since it's not as thick as coconut milk, though.

> Are there any other sweet chutneys you would recommend?

Mango chutney's a popular sweet chutney; it's actually an awesome dip for curry-flavored chicken tenders (rather than a paprika/cayenne/garlic seasoning, try throwing yellow curry powder onto chicken strips before breading and frying/baking them, then dip in mango chutney). I've also seen some pretty good pineapple-based recipes, if you want something a little tangier. Finally, tamarind chutney (I also see tamarind-date) is a very popular Indian sauce; it's brown, fairly thin (thinner than syrup), and quite sweet and a little tangy. It's usually one of the sauces restaurants bring out with pappadums, so you've probably had it before.

A lot of Indian chutneys and pickles are very sour, salty, or spicy (and sometimes all three), and serve a similar role to, say, a shaker of Crystal-brand hot sauce in a Cajun household (or a jug of Srirachi in a college student's apartment). People drizzle some chutney into their rice or on top of their food to kick it up a notch. Just noting that since, if you just grab a random jar of say, carrot pickle, off the shelf somewhere, you should expect it to be pretty intense!

TL;DR: Mango chutney rocks! Tamarind chutney is also popular and amazing.

> What kind of mustard seeds are you using?

I use black mustard seeds in Indian cuisine for the most part. I can't imagine that yellow would make too big of a difference: you're mostly seeking that pungent, earthy, tangy, acrid mustard flavor, and if one variety is stronger than the other, I bet the difference isn't large.

TL;DR: Black mustard seeds for Indian food, but yellow work okay, too.

> Is there a particular reason you recommend curry leaves instead of curry powder. . .

Curry leaves in particular are a bizarre case that have to do with the imperfect translation of very complicated, regional food cultures from all across India through the British Raj's somewhat. . . simplistic lens. We just call any wet Indian dish a curry, call a premade spice mix to dump into said dishes curry powder, and call these leaves the South Indians love to munch on curry, too! In truth, different parts of India meant different things with the word.

Specifically, curry leaves taste very different from curry powder (that's usually a mix of cumin, coriander, turmeric, cloves, and cinnamon). They're much earthier, not nearly as sweet, and have a very pungent, umami-esque flavor with herbiness and more, too, and are mostly used to infuse the cooking oil in S. Indian cuisine. Unfortunately, they're very unique, and you pretty much have to use them to get the flavor just right. Hing serves a very similar role in S. Indian food, so even if you only have that, you'll get pretty close!

Lucky note: curry leaves freeze really well and maintain their flavor for months. One modest sized baggy could last you a very long time!

TL;DR: Curry leaves taste very different from curry powder and serve a different role. To get the best flavor, you gotta have 'em if you can find em.

> And tamarind paste/concentrate as opposed to the powder?

This is probably a totally okay substitute; tamarind is there for a fruity tartness; it reminds me a little bit of artificial grape, but much more sour and a little "deeper" in tone. The powder should get you there, too, but you'll want to play with the amounts. Tamarind paste (taking a block of dried tamarind and soaking it in boiling water) is fairly weak, ounce for ounce, while tamarind concentrate (boiled tamarind juice in a jar) is pretty strong. I imagine the powder is even more concentrated, so go easy on it if you use it :)

TL;DR: Yep, powder is fine, but will probably be pretty darn sour. Go light!

> Is parboiled rice really necessary in the dosa batter, as opposed to say a brown rice?

Different kinds of rice and lentils lend different properties to the dosa batter, but in a very general sense, more urad dal = thicker, fluffier, gloopier batter (better for uttapams and vadai) while more long grain rice = crispier, thinner, lighter batter (better for idlys and dosai). Parboiled rice adds a slightly different texture than raw basmati (which also lends a strong, lovely aroma to the finished product), and flattened rice (poha) changes things in its own unique way, too.

Most people have their own "preferred" mix--some folks say you gotta have 4 parts rice to 1 part dal, others say 2.5:1. Some folks say you need a bit of chana dal for flavor or color, etc.

In the end, the only essential parts are some kinda rice and fresh, whole, skinless urad dals. The rice will add the crispiness (even brown rice will do it, though it will lend a nuttier flavor than white rice) you want, even in uttapams, and the lentils provide bulk and the all-important fungus that makes the batter ferment and get aerated properly (you can use cooking soda as a quick shortcut though, and if your local grocer only carries old, bad-quality urad dal where all the healthy, naturally occurring fungus has long since died off, that might be your only bet!).

The ratio I write in the recipes I linked is just my personal favorite right now. I've been making a lot of mysore masala dosa "sandwiches" to bring to work, and that recipe is a really good balance of crispy (cuz texture is awesome) and fluffy (because being able to fold the sandwich without breaking it makes my food prettier, haha). It's hardly the be-all, end-all of dosa batter, though!

Long answer short, yeah, brown rice is A-OK. Play with your ratio of rice to dal, or different kinds of rice, to make a batter that you personally enjoy. Urad dal is pretty much essential, though.

u/SlySpyder13 · 32 pointsr/AskCulinary

Great write up. To this I'll add, use Asafoetida, and buy only this brand. I've seen it used in my home since forever (and almost every other household I know of).

This is the process I follow to lay the base for pretty much any Indian dish, OP can suggest tweaks as necessary:

  1. Start by sauteing your mustard seeds/chana dal/urad dal or what have you (what you decide to use depends entirely on what you are cooking, but mustard seeds tend to add a very south Indian flavor to the food, which I favor).

  2. Once they start cracking throw in your Asafoetida, followed by whatever chili peppers you use (green or red). This is then followed by your garlic/ginger/onion paste (I prefer finely cut onions as opposed to completely ground onions in the paste, but that's a matter of taste).

  3. Wait for the raw smell of the onions to dissipate, then add in turmeric (small amounts as OP pointed out), red chili powder, a mild smattering of garam masala (or sambar powder, again depending on your taste, I'm South Indian and like a South Indian flavor to my curries) or any other masalas (I'd suggest MDH) to add richness to the flavor.

  4. Now throw in the tomatoes (preferably finely cut and ones rich in flavor). Turn down your heat and allow for the whole thing to become a nice flavorful paste (this should take about 5-7 min).

    This is your fundamental base to almost any Indian dish. Follow all other instructions and suggestions the OP has now shared and you should be good to go with pretty much anything you need to cook Indian style.
u/funnynickname · 5 pointsr/Cheap_Meals

Sure. This stuff is supposed to help the flavor of lentils and help digestion. Heat in ghee and fry beans in it for a minute.

I've bought split pea 4lbs $15.

garbanzo Takes a long time to cook to soft. Pressure cooker?

I bought some brown lentils, but they weren't split, and still had the shell. Little more chewy than I like.

These were a very good no soak substitute for navy beans. Bit pricey.

I tried these in chili and they were good. No soak. Small, sweeter than kidney. Fast cook.


I've been using chili and white chili kits from the grocery store, a pound of beans, a bit of chicken for meat, diced tomato, onion, peppers, and any other vegies I want to use up.

u/hitch44 · 10 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Hi there! You can try looking into your local Indian store? Usually you can get a small zip loc bag of leaves for a dollar. They will last if they are refrigerated and not exposed outside the bag. You can also get 3.5oz of asofoetida from Amazon for under a dollar. If you do try more Indian cuisine in the future, this bottle can sit on the shelf ready to be used!

So try looking at these options again and hope you can try this great recipe!

u/34598-3038405983 · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

I use hing, AKA asafoetida -- it's the resinous sap from the stalk of a plant in the same family as onions, shallot, and garlic. It's ubiquitous in Indian cooking, and is the closest living relative (we think) to the plant that the ancient Romans harvested to extinction for their own cuisine, which was Silphium.

The dried resin is sold as a powder. It's very smelly when raw, and shouldn't be eaten until its been thoroughly cooked - raw, it's known to upset the stomach, but cooked it's known as a palliative for stomach upset and indigestion.

If you have a local South Asian/Indian market, get it there. The commonest brand is these little white plastic jars in the spice aisle.

It's rare to find it in corporate American markets, but if you do, there will be a 10x markup -- the "exotic" tax. Luckily, my neighborhood grocery is as diverse as my neighborhood, so I get that 50 gram bottle for about $1.20.

A very little goes a long way! Try this in Indian dal recipies, soup stocks, etc.

According to your oil/water statement above, you can still burn onions in oil to add to tadka dal, right?

You can also try mixing asafoetida with vinegar, honey, fish sauce, rue, mint, cumin, and/or saba - those ingredients together or in various combinations turn up in a lot of Roman sauces.

In particular, take a look at historical European and Roman cuisine. I've noticed that Roman recipes (mostly out of Apicius) don't always lean on onions for flavor the way later European cooking does. It seems like EVERY modern stock and soup starts with sautéed onion.

In contrast, here's a sampling of Roman recipes, many of which don't call for any onion at all, some for leeks and some for shallot though.

Sample of soups and sauces recipes from Forme of Cury and other historical cookbooks.

u/yuripower · 2 pointsr/FODMAPS

You can try asafoetida powder, never had it myself but it is often suggested as a replacement for onion/garlic powder. Alternatively for the garlic you can sauté it in some olive oil, throw away the cloves and use the oil in the broth, the triggers don't bind to oil like they do water. It won't mix terribly well but if you're using it for cooking it shouldn't be a big deal.