In mediaeval Europe it was used to tenderize and preserve meat.
It might seem expensive, but you only use a pinch at a time, so it lasts for quite a while, and there’s no substitute for it. So if you want the authentic taste of Indian and Pakistani dishes, you should invest in some. Use it with lentils, beans and chickpeas, it gives them a taste boost.
TOMATO SALSA, PAKISTANI-STYLE
1 tbsp oil
¾ tsp black mustard seeds
½ tsp Nigella sativa or black seed
3 curry leaves, slightly torn
pinch asafoetida powder
4 green chillies split from top to bottom and seeds removed
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 inch ginger root, pounded to a pulp
5 medium sized ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp turmeric
2 tsp sugar
salt to taste
fresh coriander leaves, shredded to garnish
Heat the oil and fry the seeds, leaves and asafoetida until the seeds start to sputter. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for 2 mins. Now add the tomatoes and cook over a low heat for 10 to 15 mins, until the tomatoes are mushy.
Add turmeric, chilli powder and sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves.
Remove from the heat and add the salt, stir well and serve hot. If there’s any left, it will keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container. You can eat it hot or cold.
Serve as a side dish garnished with the fresh coriander leaves.
Use as a dip with naan, chapattis or other breads. You can also serve it hot to accompany any meat dishes.
This has Taste and is a Treat.