Asafoetida is a a popular flavor enhancer in Indian cuisine, from dal to cauliflower. It has a very strong flavor, and should be used sparingly. In addition, it has a strong odor such that it should be kept in an airtight container and away from other spices. This asafoetida contains rice flour and is gluten free. Try our simple tempering below for a traditional way to enjoy Asafoetida in lentil and vegetable dishes.
Tempered Spice Oil for Lentils, Rice, or Vegetables:
Tempering, commonly known as Tarka/Tadka, is a cooking technique which blooms spices and herbs in hot oil to develop their flavors quickly. Simply heat oil, toss in spices, and your tempering is ready to be added to fluffy steamed basmati rice, simple boiled lentils, or mixed with cooked vegetables like cauliflower, peas or potatoes. Because of the small quantities used in Tempering, this method generally uses a small pan and a spoon to stir the spices and help them roast evenly. Tempering is versatile and easy to customize, experiment and choose spices to your liking!
2 Tablespoons oil, such as Coconut Oil, Ghee, or Mustard Oil
2 small dry Red Chiles, such as Japones or Chiles de Arbol
1/4 teaspoon Asafoetida Powder
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
1/2 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
1 teaspoon brown or Black Mustard Seeds
2 Bay Leaves, broken in half
(Optional) teaspoon of whole Cashew Nuts
(Optional) teaspoon of shredded Ginger and/or Garlic
In a small skillet, heat oil until shimmering and hot, about a minute or two over medium high heat. Add in whole Red Chiles, Bay Leaves, and Cumin Seeds and stir for a few seconds to begin frying them - if using Cashews and Ginger/Garlic, add it now. Toss in Black Mustard Seeds and stir until the seeds pop and sputter. Add in powdered Asafoetida and Turmeric to finish, then turn off heat and use immediately for best results. Pour sizzling Tempered spice oil into simple lentil soup, or toss with cooked vegetables to make a simple side dish. Try your tempering in stir-fried green beans or with rice.