Asa or ashant, a spice also known as devil’s poo. Come see why you should use it in the kitchen

Believe it or not, asa or ashant or devil’s poop is a really unique and tasty spice if you know how to prepare it properly!

You will learn exactly this in our article. You will learn how to properly handle it and prepare it to give your dish the right intense flavor.

Enjoy India at home with this perfect and healthy spice.

What is an asa or ashant?

This is an oriental spice also called ločidlo, devil’s poop or ace stinky. Asa is obtained from the root of the Ferula plant, which grows in arid regions of countries such as Iran, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan.

Asa is obtained by cutting the pulpy stems or roots from the carrot-like plant mentioned above. Juice flows from the roots, which solidifies in the air and gradually changes color from yellow to reddish brown. Spices are first obtained in liquid form and only later processed. Asant can not be consumed in its raw form, as it is harmful and even poisonous.

Its different varieties are mixed depending on their unique aromas. The spices are then mixed with flour and edible gum to create an emulsified product. This is later processed and sold in the form of balls or powder.

Due to its very strong aroma, asa must be used with great care in the kitchen. Only a quarter of a teaspoon is considered sufficient for a meal for four people.

Ashanti spice in powder form and precipitated spice balls.

How does it taste?

Asant adds a super spicy element to dishes that would otherwise be missing from the dish. Although the smell of raw asa is not exactly what you would call pleasant, everything changes when it is mixed with hot oil or butter.

It is usually one of the first flavoring ingredients added to dishes. When it goes through the cooking process, its initial pungent and unpleasant smell is softened and replaced by a pleasant, interesting and unmistakable aroma that evokes India. After boiling, its taste and smell, according to some, resemble leeks, garlic and even meat.

The scent is hard to describe, but you’ll definitely know it when you smell it. If you are a fan of the Indian style of cooking, this will be something for your senses!

Ace types

There are two types, milky white asafoetida (known as hing kabuli safaid) and red asafoetida (known as hing lal).

Both are used as flavorings for curries, pickled vegetables and sauces.

It replaces garlic and onion in certain Indian recipes. This spice plays an important role in vegetarian dishes and is used in dishes that contain lentils/legumes and beans.

Maybe you want to try this very special and mysterious spice, but you don’t know where to buy it. Asa is usually sold pre-ground and is available at any specialty Indian grocery store. You won’t need more than the smallest container as a pinch or two per meal is enough. Keep it very well sealed if you don’t want your entire pantry to “smell” with it.

Two types of ashanta with which to flavor dishes.

Health effects of ace

  • Experts say it has antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, sedative and diuretic properties. That means it helps with everything from lowering blood pressure to relieving menstrual cramps.
  • Asa is also useful in the treatment of kidney stones
  • It prevents diseases of the digestive tract
  • It helps women who suffer from menstrual pain or excessive bleeding and is similarly used to alleviate the problem of excessive bleeding in premature labor
  • Breastfeeding mothers are advised to add half a teaspoon of asa a day to their diet due to its anti-bloating properties
  • It is also used as a medicine for some allergies.
  • Asa is useful as a spice that reduces cholesterol and flatulence (for effective use, add a quarter teaspoon of asanto to one glass of buttermilk or warm water and drink)
  • Asa is used as a laxative
  • Remedy for asthma and bronchitis and children’s cold
List of health benefits that spices provide.

How to cook with ashanta?

Asa is not a spice that can be used in all dishes and recipes. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be good for everyday use.

Add it to vegetables such as: potatoes, onions, cauliflower, peas, peppers, tomatoes, etc.

Once your oil or butter is hot, add the asa and let it heat for about 15 seconds. Then add other spices and aromatic ingredients.

Asa is best used as an additional spice to the main spices in a recipe such as cumin, mustard seeds, dried chillies, curry leaves, ginger and garlic.

Add any combination of these to your sauce to drizzle over your beans, steamed vegetables, or whatever.

Add it to delicious Indian recipes such as our butter chicken ,lentil dhal orTikka Masala .

Indian curry with aromatic ashant spices.

What to replace the spices with?

  • Garlic powder (¼ tsp asa spice=½ tsp garlic powder)
  • Onion powder (¼ teaspoon of asant=1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • Onion paste (start with ½ teaspoon of onion paste and gradually increase)
  • Shallot (start with 1 shallot clove sauteed in clarified butter)
  • Braised garlic (½ teaspoon of ashant=1 teaspoon of sautéed garlic in butter)
  • Leek with garlic (mix garlic and minced leek in a ratio of 1:1)

Milan & Ondra

We are both fans of good food and enjoy cooking. On this website, we want to inspire you with traditional, but also less common recipes. We will be happy if you try our recipes and let us know how you liked them. Bon appetite! :)