Indian Food: A through Z

I will be honest- I have not been posting as much as I would like to. I do walk around writing posts in my head which never make it on the blog.

I came up with an assignment for myself which should provide me with a sense of discipline and hopefully regular posts.

I will go through the alphabet and blog about something Indian food related everyday.

Today is A

A for Asafoetida

Asafoetida is a spice used in Indian cooking. It is often misunderstood and I don’t even talk about it in most of my classes when I introduce common Indian Spices.
The Hindi word for it is Hing. It is most known for its anti-flatulent properties and is often added to many bean and lentil dishes to aid digestion. It is always added to the hot oil before adding any other ingredients.

For a lot more detailed information refer to this Wikipedia article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asafoetida

A recipe:

Spiced Green Beans

(These are Chinese Long Beans and can be found in Indian Grocery stores or in China Town. If you are able to find them – cut them into a size you like – usually between and inch to 4 inches).

2 tsp. Ghee or Vegetable Oil
1/4 tsp. Asafoetida
1 tsp. Mustard Seeds
1 Tbs. Fresh Ginger – grated
2 Garlic Cloves – crushed
2 Green Chilies – finely chopped
1/2 tsp. Fenugreek Seeds
6-8 Curry Leaves
1 Lb. Green Beans – trimmed
1 cup Coconut Milk
Salt to taste
Fresh Cilantro for garnish

Heat the ghee or oil in a wok or large pan. As soon as it starts to smoke, add the asafoetida and mustard seeds. Allow the mustard seeds to pop and then add the ginger, garlic. chilies, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves. Stir for a minute or two. Add the beans and salt, and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring continuously to coat the beans with the spices. Pour in the coconut milk and simmer until the beans are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated.

Check for seasoning and garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.

Serve hot.

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