Getting it Right

asafetida:

M from India writes:

“Kurma, I often wonder why you recommend yellow asafoetida? Is it better quality?”

I replied:

Not necessarily. But it is of a standard mildness. Therefore if people want to follow my recipes and duplicate what I got in my test kitchen (and hence get as perfect an outcome as possible) I have specified the yellow asafetida, which tends to be fairly mild, despite the brand.

If I just said ‘1/2 teaspoon asafetida’ some people might have cooked recipes with too much asafetida since they select a stronger grey variety or even a very pure asafetida crystal (where only a pinch is required) and ruin the dish. It’s all about me transmitting the best recipe instructions over time and space under as many variant possibilities as possible via a cookbook.

Just like if I said “a cup of rice”, one inexperienced cook may choose a tiny coffee cup, another a giant mug, but if I say a ‘metric cup (250ml)’ we’re all on the same page. Hope this clarifies.

Posted by Kurma on 29/4/10; 3:35:05 AM

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