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Asafoetida

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An extremely pungent spice extracted from a plant of the giant fennel family, commonly used in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking. In fact, asafoetida’s dung-like smell is quite off-putting (the Germans call it Teufelsdreck or devil’s dung), but if you can overcome the stink, which disappears in the cooking process, the smallest amount of it transforms vegetable dishes, meat stews and fish.

Dried gum resin used as a spice in Indian cooking. Obtainable from Indian provision stores. No substitute, but it may be omitted from any recipe if it is unobtainable.


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