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Have you ever heard of asafetida, a.k.a. hing?
I hadn’t until about a year ago, and I didn’t have it in my kitchen until a few weeks ago when my friends and I made a field trip to one of our local Indian grocery stores. I say “one of” because it is important to point out that we had our choice of three to go to, even in our little backwoods of Ohio. Okay, well, the eastern suburbs of Cleveland aren’t exactly backwoods, but they aren’t exactly metropolitan either! The store we go to the most often has brilliant customer service becasuse they have one of the top rated grocery pos systems and they have virtually anything you could ever need in stock. So I was stoked at the time to find out that we had our pick of Indian groceries.
Why? Well, because I wanted that darned asafetida! That and just about every ingredient you could find that you need at an Indian grocery is far, far cheaper than, lets say, your local high end specialty health food chain (I won’t mention any names here because you know how much I love me some Whole Foods . . . oops!).
Here’s some of the goodies that I picked up:
I haven’t gotten around to using this dried mango powder yet, but give me time Aloo Gobi! Give me time!
Kale Mallung, a Sri Lankan recipe, from Fat Free Vegan. How did Susan ever know that I had a box of washed and cut kale that I wanted to use up? The coconut and lime make this no-oil sauteed greens dish incredibly unique and incredibly tasty!
HGK’s Aloo Baingan (Potato and Eggplant)
1 medium purple eggplant, un-peeled, cut into 1/2? cubes
5 medium boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2? cubes
1 medium tomato cut into 1/2? cubes
Pinch of asafetida (hing) (don’t stress out if you don’t have this ingredient, just leave it out)
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1 small chopped green chili (jalepeno-deseeded) adjust to taste!
1 teaspoon grated ginger
Spray the base of a pot with cooking spray and heat the pot over medium heat. Test the heat by adding one cumin seed to the pot; if seed cracks right away pot is heated to the right temperature.
Add cumin seeds and asafetida after seeds crack. Add the spice mixture and stir-fry for 20 seconds, stirring continuously.
Add chopped tomato and stir-fry for a minute. Add tomato sauce.
Add roasted potatoes and eggplant. Mix it gently, let it simmer for three to four minute on medium low heat. Turn off the heat and add chopped cilantro mix it well.
Do you shop any International grocery stores? Tell us about it!