Unhinged – The Search for Fariri Hing and Samo Rice

I have been searching for pure asafetida for some time now, without the addition of rice flour or wheat flour. More specifically, I was looking for asafetida that can be used on the grain-fasting day of ekadasi. I was told to search for fariri hing. I went to google: no I didn’t want a ferrari hinge, I wanted fariri hing! No luck there.

found - fariri hing:

Well, one thing led to another and finally I found a distributor for the stuff in the Sydney suburb of Blacktown and purchased a few jars – some for me and some for my friends. Buckwheat flour is the ‘carrier’ for the pure hing (asafetida) – and this stuff is strong! The closest I have ever come to the real hing aroma. You only need a pinch.

up close fariri:

While I was at the warehouse – Hari Australia – the proprietor named Devraj (adorned with vaisnava tilak) explained to me that fariri referred to fasting in Gujarati culture – specifically on the holy grain-free days of ekadasi. It seems the more common word is ‘farali‘ – faral means fast – and I guess it all boils down to different dialects and regional languages. In a nutshell, if you do an internet search, you won’t find fariri, but you will find farali. Are you still keeping up?


Anyway, while there I also found another product that I hadn’t been able to track down. The item in question was samo – a Gujarati favourite on ekadasi fasting days that approximates the use and mouthfeel of rice without breaking the fast. Also known as samo seedssamo ricemoraiyovaryache tandul, and bhagar in various Indian regional languages, it can be used for rice-like dishes, khichari, creamy milk puddings and anything that normally would use rice.

moraiyo up close:

That’s it above, close up and larger than life-size – a bit smaller than sago – in fact pretty much the same size as millet. There’s loads of recipes on the internet, but I thought I’d ask my readers if anyone has a favourite samo recipe. Anyone?

Posted by Kurma on 27/11/11; 7:54:17 AM

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