In India, we usually mix five-six various Indian spices in a single recipe, because the tadka of these spices bring interesting aroma & flavors to an otherwise tasteless meal. These spices include TurmericHingMirchi powderCoriander powder, Cloves, Cinnamon, etc. Among all these spices, Asafoetida (Hing) can elevate any recipe. If you want to cook authentic Indian curry, you need to know how to include this pungent ingredient in your dish. 

Here's all you need to know about Hing, its origin, history, health benefits, and how to use it.

What is Asafoetida or Hing??

Basically, Hing is a gum-like hard substance extracted from the taproot of many spices of ferula plants. Just a pinch of Hing is enough to boost every spice in the pan, just like salt but without sodium. 

Europeans have given Hing a decidedly unflattering name i.e., Devil's Dung. Even its English name Asafoetida is derived from the Latin word Fetid, which means stinking. Those who are not aware of Hind, its string aroma & flavor, and its medicinal benefits can respond negatively to its name.

Hing is indigenous to Afghanistan & Iran, but today, it is mostly grown & used in India. The Mughals from the middle east first brought Hing to India. It is available in two forms: one in its original form in a sticky dark brown lump or in a yellowish powder form, which is often mixed with rice flour or Haldi powder. 

Health Benefits of Hing: 

Apart from its culinary uses, Hing also has numerous health benefits. It has antiviral, antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, sedative, vermifuge, etc. properties that secure Hing on a prominent place in traditional medicine. Given its numerous health benefits, this spice is also referred to as the "Food of Gods".

Here are the top 10 benefits of Hing:  

  • Hing is a very good blood thinner, so it can help lower the Blood pressure.
  • It helps in relieving some respiratory disorders like asthma, dry cough, cold, etc.
  • It treats various kinds of stomach problems like indigestion, bloating, food poisoning, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), etc.
  • It boosts progesterone secretion and promotes smooth blood flow; thus, it helps get rid of menstrual pain.
  • Hing is a natural antidote for insect bites & stings.
  • Applying Hing on the acne mixed with rose water can help in reducing acne.
  • ncreases the oxygen supply to facial tissues, thus, adding glow to the face.
  • It restores & replenishes the pH balance in your hair making it strong & healthy.
  • Asafoetida helps the pancreatic cells in creating more insulin in the body & maintaining a healthy sugar level.
  • The anti-oxidant properties of Hing protect the cells from harmful free radicals.

How to Use Hing in Cooking: 

Hing can be used in various dishes from fried snacks to Indian curry, but to get the most taste out of it, you need to know the best way to use it for cooking. Here are some suggestions to use Hing in the cooking process.

  • If you are using Hing in its pure form i.e., in lumps, then crush it in small pieces and mix it with some water. Then add this mixture to the recipe.
  • For those who like the strong aroma of Hing, add Hing in the tadka.
  • If you are using powdered Hing, add a pinch of it in a hot water and then add this mixture to the recipe.

Precautionary Tip: 

  • Avoid Hing if you are undergoing any surgery, its blood-thinning properties may increase the chance of bleeding during & post-surgery.

Hing is a strong spice that can transform your boring dish into a magical one. Adding a small pinch of Asafoetida in your daily diet can add an incredible flavor & aroma to your food and can help you reap its benefits immensely. For 100% authentic & strong Hing, try out Vasant Masala, we are leading spice manufactures of Gujarat. You can find our products at your local Kirana store & if you want to buy Hing online visit e-store. You can also buy our products from Amazon & Flipkart.