Asafoetida Powder

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Asafoetida is a spice made from the dried resin of an herb native to the mountains of Afghanistan that is used as seasoning in Indian cuisine.

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quick look

information at a glance

approximate cups to one pound3
active compoundsVolatile oil up to 17% that is made up of disulphides resin which contains sesquiterpenoid coumarins with foetidin and gum.
plant part usedoleo-gum-resin
why buy asafoetida?Lends savory flavor to Indian dishes and condiments.

buying & keeping

general guidelines and tips

storage tipsStore in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. If not stored properly, asafoetida will alter the flavor and aroma of other spices.
appearance & aromaVery strong and pungent, warm and inviting when cooked in oil.


try something new

culinaryUse in Indian recipes, especially dal, lentil curries and various vegetable dishes and sauces.
industrialAsafoetida is used as an attractant for fish, Lepidoptera moths and wolves.

some recommendations

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Turmeric is often used with asafoetida to season a variety of dishes in Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines.

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[ cumin ]


Both cumin seed and powdered cumin are staples in African, Mediterranean, Indian and Asian cuisines.

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flavor profile


Asafoetida has a strong, camphorous flavor until it is heated and/or blended with other ingredients.

culinary companions

It is often used with turmeric, mustard seeds, dried chiles, garlic and ginger in Indian cooking.

what else you should know

asafoetida powder

Asafoetida powder is often described as pungent and “funky,” at least until it hits hot oil. In fact, alternate common names for this herb include devil’s sweat, devil’s dung and various other descriptive terms. But if you’ve ever visited an Indian restaurant and wondered what that unique aroma was lingering in the air, it was asafoetida. The spice provides the unmistakable characteristic flavor to tarkas, the spiced finishing sauces common to Indian cuisine.

A small amount of asafoetida in cooking goes a long way. It is also usually added to hot clarified butter or oil a minute or two before other spices to get a “head start,” from which it recedes into the background as a low note and enhances the other flavors in the finished dish.

Background: As early as 4 BC Asafoetida was touted as a favored ingredient by Alexander the Great in Rome. The resin gum is used liberally in vegetarian dishes in India.  Today, it is a flavoring most commonly associated with Worcestershire sauce.

Description: It is known as Devil's Dung because of it's foul odor, which stems from the resin taken from the thick stems and root of two large species of fennel that are members of the carrot family.  It is a perennial that grows in Afghanistan and Iran to heights of up to 12 feet in the wild. White flowers are present in the umbels.

Safety: Asafoetida is not to be used for young babies.

for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised: 
Before making any changes to your diet you should always consult with your doctor,
especially if you are pregnant, nursing or have existing conditions.