Click here to Login
Subscribe for Newsletter GoToChef for Brands

Asafoetida

Also Known As : Hing (Hindi), (Bengali), (Gujarati), (Punjabi), Hinger,Ingu (Kannada), Yang, Sap (Kashmiri), Kayam (Malayalam), Hengu (Oriya), Perungayam (Tamil), Inguva, Ingumo (Telugu), Devil’s Dung, Devil’s Durt, Food of the Gods (Persian), Laser (Roman), Stinking Gum, assa foetida, ferulr perisque (French), Asafotida, Stinkender Asant (German), assafetida (Italian), asafoetida (Spanish)
Technical Name : Ferula asafoetida

Vegetarian

Taste Profile

Asafoetida is acrid and bitter in taste and emits a strong disagreeable pungent odor

Usage Tips

  1. It is used as a digestive aid in food, as a condiment and in pickles.
  2. In India, asafoetida is largely employed to add a strong onion-garlic flavour to vegetarian dishes and used especially by Brahmins and Jains who do not eat onions or garlic.
  3. It is also powdered and mixed with ghee and rice and served to women after childbirth to prevent the child from getting colic.
  4. It can be added directly to cooking liquid, frying in oil, or steeping in water.
  5. It is also suited to many fish dishes and some pappadums are seasoned with asafoetida.
  6. It is best stored in airtight containers to avoid affecting other spices kept nearby.

Common names and forms

  1. Afghan Asafoetida
  2. Asafoetida powder
  3. Asafoetida/Heeng
  4. Hing
  5. Hing Powder
  6. Shudh Hing

Description

Asafoetida is dried latex which is made from a plant called Ferula Assa-foetida, native to Afghanistan. It is grown mainly in Iran and Afghanistan from where it is exported to the rest of the world. There are many varieties of asafoetida available in the market today which differ in their quality depending upon their region of origin. The two most commonly consumed varieties of asafoetida in India are red and white. The white asafetida also known as Hing Kabuli Sufaid (Milky white asafoetida) is native to Afghanistan and is water-soluble whereas the red asafetida known as Hing Lal (Red asafoetida) found in other countries is oil soluble. Asafoetida from Mazar-e-Sharif (Afghanistan) is the best suited to make compounded asafoetida or the spice hing because of the distinct color, smell, and taste.

Health benefits

  • Evidences suggest that chemicals in asafoetida might help to protect against high levels of certain fats including cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood – coumarins, the chemical present in asafoetida, can thin the blood. (1) 
  • It is also used for treating digestive problems including intestinal gas and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). (1)
  • It is also known to be a sexual stimulant. By stimulating hormonal activity and boosting energy and blood flow, asafoetida is basically an aphrodisiac that is easily accessible and has no side-effects except a better reproductive life. (2)
  • As an antiviral, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory, it can help to eliminate excess mucus and phlegm from the system, while also neutralizing any bacteria or pathogens that may be in the respiratory tracts. Thus effectively boosting the immune system. (2) 
  • It has the ability to soothe the body and mind, making it an effective treatment for hysteria, mood swings, chronic anxiety, depression, and stress. (2)

Selection Guide

Make sure to check the label carefully before buying as it indicates the "use by" date and the region of origin and manufacturing.

Note

It is advised not to give asafoetida to infants, as it can cause internal bleeding in them. It might cause miscarriage when a pregnant woman takes it, and it can cause bleeding disorders in the infant if a breast feeding woman consumes it. (3)

- Disclaimer
"Information here is provided for discussion and educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice or product or ingredient review/rating. The information may not apply to you and before you use or take any action, you should contact the manufacturer, seller, medical, dietary, fitness or other professional. If you utilize any information provided here, you do so at your own risk and you waive any right against Culinary Communications Private Limited, its affiliates, officers, directors, employees or representatives.”