Thursday, 25 June 2009


English Name : Asafetida
Common Indian Name (Hindi): Hing

  • Asafetida (Ferula assafoetida) is the resinous gum of a giant fennel plant, which grows in Afghanistan and Iran. The milky sap from the roots and stem hardens into a resin like substance. This resin darkens with age to a deep brown.
  • Asafetida is also known as devil’s dung, stinking gum, or Food of the God. The Persians considered it was food for the Gods.
  • It has got a very disgusting smell. It has a foul smell when raw, but in cooked dishes, it delivers a smooth flavor, reminiscent of leeks.
  • It is available in blocks, of wax-like texture, pieces, or powdered. The blocks are the purest, but powder is the most convenient to avoid its distasteful smell. It is used in very small quantity.
  • It can be used to enhance the flavor of fish and vegetable dishes. In India it is added to soups, sauces, dals, chickpeas, split peas or spicy potato dishes.
  • As a carminative and reliever of flatulence, it is invaluable in lentil dishes.
  • It is also used to treat nervous conditions, bronchitis and asthma, and is being researched as an anti-coagulant and treatment for blood pressure.
  • Asafetida oleo-gum-resin has been reported to be antiepileptic in classical Unani as well as ethnobotanical literature.

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