Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of several plants of the genus Ferula in the parsley family, native to dry regions in Iran and Afghanistan and having long, sturdy, hollow stems and roots yielding a brownish, strong-smelling resin.
  • noun The resin obtained from these plants, especially from the species Ferula assa-foetida, used as an ingredient in medicine and remedies and as a seasoning in South Asian cuisine.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A fetid inspissated sap from Persia and Afghanistan, the concrete juice from the roots of several large umbelliferous plants of the genus Ferula, especially F. Narthex (Narthex Asafœtida) and F. Scorodosma (Scorodosma fœtida).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The fetid gum resin or inspissated juice of a large umbelliferous plant (Ferula asafœtida) of Persia and the East Indies. It is used in medicine as an antispasmodic.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Alternative spelling of asafoetida.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the brownish gum resin of various plants; has strong taste and odor; formerly used as an antispasmodic

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Medieval Latin asafētida : asa, gum (from Persian azā, mastic) + Latin foetida, feminine of foetidus, stinking; see fetid.]

Examples

  • Because the asafetida is the only thing you can smell while this is first cooking, you can actually smell the transformation the raw, frankly disgusting spice undergoes as it cooks, taking on a yummy oniony-garlicky fragrance.

    660 Curries: Ghia Yakhani (Pan-Fried Bottle Gourd Slices with Yogurt and Aromatic Spices)

  • Because the asafetida is the only thing you can smell while this is first cooking, you can actually smell the transformation the raw, frankly disgusting spice undergoes as it cooks, taking on a yummy oniony-garlicky fragrance.

    Archive 2008-08-01

  • On May 7, 1849, an unruly mob hissed and interrupted the Macready's performance including pelting the poor actor with rotten eggs, potatoes, old shoes and a bottle of liquid which may have been something called asafetida, which stank.

    Archive 2007-08-01

  • Hing also known as asafetida is a substitute for onion and galic.

    Stuff.co.nz - Stuff

  • Hing also known as asafetida is a substitute for onion and galic.

    Stuff.co.nz - Stuff

  • With my changes (the garlic and onions in place of asafetida and some yogurt at the end plus a sweet hot tart chutney like the tomato relish) we really enjoyed it, but it definitely needed those changes for us.

    Hats Off To The Grannies: Peanutty Spinach Curry & A Kidney Bean In Cardamom Yogurt Curry

  • When they have finished popping, removed the skillet from the heat and add the cumin seeds, cayenne, asafetida and turmeric.

    Archive 2009-01-01

  • With my changes (the garlic and onions in place of asafetida and some yogurt at the end plus a sweet hot tart chutney like the tomato relish) we really enjoyed it, but it definitely needed those changes for us.

    Archive 2009-03-01

  • When oil is hot and almost smoking, add the asafetida and curry leaves and then the mustard seeds and dal.

    The Pancake of Possibilities

  • When they have finished popping, removed the skillet from the heat and add the cumin seeds, cayenne, asafetida and turmeric.

    Out Of Practice: Mug Chana Nu Dal (Sweet Split Green Lentils & Yellow Peas)

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