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Phil
30/7/2017 02:31pm
Asafetida

I've known about this since the early 1980's, but have never used it, for some reason.

I went to an Asian shop in Edinburgh and asked for it. I was given a small tub of it which, when I got home, turned out to be a mix of rice flour, gum arabic, asaf(o)etida and turmeric.

Would that be suitable for the tamarind chutney?

Phil

Mamta
31/7/2017 06:34am

Hing is a Gum Resin, https://goo.gl/ot8Kdo, which was traditionally sold in small lumps, not powder. It is only in recent years that it has been replaced with little tins of the powder.

My mum never bought any powder! I also brought it from India in small jars of little lumps, until not that many years ago. To crush it, you had to heat it on a griddle, mixed with ainged it with the back of a ladle as it heated. That made it very easy to crush it to a powder.

So yes, it does have different flours added to it to make it into a powder. I am not sure why turmeric has been added to it, but that can't do it any harm. It should be okay to use it for tamarind chutney, or any other 'tempering' of Indian dishes.

You can buy a small tin from Indian grocers for less than a pound. Even some Sainsburys stock it for a £1.00

Phil
31/7/2017 03:23pm
Asafetida

Thanks, Mamta! Very informative!

I'll check my local Sainsbury.

Phil

Mamta
31/7/2017 06:03pm

Sorry about that second paragraph. It should read;

"My mum never bought any Hing in powder form! I also brought it, mostly from India, in small jars of little lumps, until not that many years ago. To crush it, you had to heat it on a griddle, mixed with some chapatti flour, pressing the lumps with the back of a ladle as it heated. That made them break up into a powder".

Helen Bach
10/8/2017 05:24pm

the additives are there to 'dilute' the hing, as it can be (is) very powerful when not old. It is known as 'compounded' when mixed as you have found, and you really need quite a bit to get the effect!. Because of the excipients, you could get thickening if added to other foods.

It is possible to get 'raw' hing in the UK, but I have only found it in London! It is very powerful! Used by Kashmiri Pandits instead of onion/garlic.

Mamta
11/8/2017 05:01pm

Thank you for that Helen. It is indeed very pungent. However, most people in India know this, seek the purest form and use it appropriately. The smell and aroma of a 'tarka' with strong hing is inimitable, I love it, just a hint in the background.

It is worth trying a good brand ☺.

In northern India, if you walk down a residential street around lunch time, when everyone is getting their lunch ready, this beautiful aroma wafts up your nostrils, making you hungry!

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