Showing posts with label ingu. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ingu. Show all posts

Jan 16, 2016

Ingredients: The Thing With Hing...

Hing, ting, asafoetida, devil's dung, stinking gum, ingu, inguva, perunkayam, Teufelsdreck, duivelsdreck, merde du diable, whatever you wish to call it, here 'tis!

asafoetida hing Iran
Ferula assafoetida

This six foot tall floral mushroom cloud is the perennial herb commonly known as asafoetida or hing. It is native to the mountains and deserts of Afghanistan and Iran and is also widely cultivated in India. As it's name implies, every part of the plant has a vile & distinctive fetid odor. The plant's white sap is extracted from the stem and roots and dried to a stone-like, amber colored resin for use as a spice.

The dried white sap deepens into an amber like block of resin as seen on the left.
On the right is the compounded version mixed with rice flour & turmeric to keep it powdery.
The amber like block of resin is so hard a hammer must be used to break chips off of it. The chips are then compounded with various substances to keep it in powder form such as rice flour, wheat flour, turmeric, and gum arabic.
A common brand of hing sold in India.
Notice the airtight, foil sealed container.
I've never smelled asafoetida/hing in it's pure form, but in it's powdered form (where it is commonly diluted to 30%) it does have quite the sulphurous stench. It's not the "skunky" sulphur odor of thiols, nor the "rotten eggs" smell of hydrogen sulfide, it's more like garlic with an extra dollop of sulphur.


When cooked, the pungent odor of asafoetida/hing becomes much milder and similar in taste to sauteed leeks or onions. Be sure to use asafoetida/hing sparingly as a little goes a long way.  Just a pinch is all that is necessary to give your dish a savory, full flavored, umami boost.

Helpful Hints:
Be sure to store asafoetida/hing in an airtight container or everything else stored nearby will reek of it's vile odor.

A good substitute for asafoetida/hing would be an equal amount of dried garlic or onion powder.
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