Asafetida is native to Iran and Afghanistan and delivers a smooth, aromatic fragrance, reminiscent of onion. It typically works as a flavor enhancer and is used in combination with turmeric as a standard ingredient in Indian cuisine, particularly in lentil curries, as well as in numerous vegetable dishes. It is widely used in Indian dishes, which are mainly vegetarian, and is often added to balance sweet, sour, salty and spicy components in food.
Asafetida’s flavor is obtained from the gum of a giant fennel and is appreciated by those whose diets forbid garlic and onions. When cooked, its aroma is almost onion-like and just a little gives great taste to any pan-fried fish. Asafetida’s also great used on salted fish, grilled or roasted meats and most vegetables.