What is Hing?

 If you've ever had hing in a curry, then you already know what it tastes like. It's an intense, pungent flavor that lingers on your tongue for a few minutes after you eat it. Hing comes from the resin of giant fennel plants that grow wild in Afghanistan and Iran. The resin can be kept pure, but in the States, you mostly find it ground to a powder and mixed with wheat. In The Book of Spice, author John O'Connell describes how Mughals from the Middle East first brought hing to India in the 16th century. Many Indians use hing to add umami to an array of savory dishes. 

People use asafoetida resin, a gum-like material, as medicine—more specifically for conditions such as breathing or throat problems.

Asafoetida is an amazing spice that can help fight off germs and bacteria, lower blood pressure, protect brain health, ease asthma symptoms, lower blood sugar levels, and even stop cancer cells from spreading. Here's why it's so incredible!

Other Names: Anjudhan (Seeds), Hilteet, Halteet, Hing, Hingra, Asafoetida, Asafetida, Devil’s Dung, Stinking Gum, Férule asafetida, Asant, Stinkasant, Teufelsdreck, Asafötida, Hing, Vagharni, Hing, Hingda, Hinger, Hingu, Ingu, Ferula foetida Regel, Hing Hira, Hing, Angudaan, Anguyaan, Anguza, Naghurah, Kamah, Hing , Hingu, Sahasravedhi, Sulanasan, Tukhme Anjdan (Seeds), Hing, Hilteet

Asafoetida is a member of the fennel family. It has been used as a spice in Indian cooking for centuries. It's also known as hing—and if you've ever had Indian food before, you've probably eaten a little bit of it without realizing it!

Asafoetida has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Not only does this mean that it can help keep your meals safe from foodborne illness, but it also means that it can protect against pathogens like Streptococcus bacteria (which causes infections like strep throat).

It also helps lower blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels. If you have high blood pressure or are at risk for developing high blood pressure (like if you're overweight), eating asafoetida regularly may be able to help prevent high blood pressure from becoming more severe. 

How to use:

 If you've ever made dahl, or Indian lentil soup, you've probably used asafoetida. It's a spice that's been used in Indian cuisine for thousands of years, and it provides a savory flavor to dishes.

Asafoetida is made from the resin of a plant called Ferula assa-foetida, and it has a pungent smell that some people find unappealing. But if you can get past the sulfurous odor, it's actually quite tasty!

In Indian cuisine, hing powder is commonly paired with other spices like turmeric or cumin to provide an umami flavor to lentil- or vegetable-based dishes. In France, this spice has also been used in steak seasoning since at least the 1800s!