Asafoetida/Perungayam/Hing – or otherwise known as the stinking spice is a magic thing that coats and takes food to a new level of flavour with nothing more than a pinch.
For quite sometime now, my mother in law insisted I use the block instead of the readymade powder that is sold in the market. I got one religiously as soon as I got married but was seriously confused. The block is hard as rock and I found it ridiculous that anyone would spend their time mortar – pestle’ing this on a daily basis for every single meal.
And so a year later, I ran out of hing and turned to the block that I have while waiting to buy my readymade magic spice. I used the knife to shave a bit, got frustrated, mortar-pestle’d the teeny tiny bit about the size of a single small sized mustard seed I managed to scrape and believe me when I say this, every single person who has been using the readymade form, throw THROW your readymade junk out the window and buy this block NOW. And I mean it heart and soul.
The block takes just a small pinch of asafoetida and does NOT stink like the powdered form. Its much more classier and I think anyone experimenting with tons of readymade powdered asafoetida will be able to see the difference with the 1st use. The trick however with the block is that it should be powdered as and when you have the need and not all at once as the block retains the flavour of the spice. Would definitely love to hear to what you have to say on this.