What is the Hing?
Most currently known under the name « asafoetida », hing is a spice often used in the Indian food. It is a natural dried resin obtained from the carving of the Devil's Dung (Ferula assafoetida), an Indian plant from the umbelliferae family which looks like an enormous fennel. When it is not cooked, hing has a very strong smell and it is so used in small quantities.
In the past, the Burmese had used Hing in their cultural customs. They put it around their neck. It seems that this protected them from fever and purified their organism.
How to cook Hing ?
Hing is necessarily cooked, because of its unpleasant smell when it is raw. Often added in Indian dishes, it gives a taste which matches well with garlic and onion. It is sold under several forms : powder, gum resin or crystal, and is always yellowish brown.
We can get Hing easily in Indian shops. Otherwise, if it is difficult, we can find it still mixed with garlic and onion in little packet. Of course, the flavour is different, but it is enough if we just want to have a taste of hing in our dishes.
Which are its vertue ?
Hing is very popular in India and in Asia too. However, you need to know the best recipes with the ingredients which fit to bring out the unique taste and smell of the hing. In Indian Veg dishes,we often use this spice, but not only. Mixed with other spices like different Masalas, Hing gives a unique flavour to Dahl, dry vegetables, roasted potatoes, meatballs, and recipes with mutton, rice ...
While travelling in India, try Bhindi which is a common Indian dish with vegetables. It has relaxing property.
No need to search further, Hing is a natural laxative, especially for people who have problem of wind in the intestine. Add just a pinch to your dishes helps to improve digestion (Dahl ...) or put asafoetida in hot water to obtain a paste and then spread it on your stomach is another way of solving a digestive problem.
Apart from that, this spice from India has other curative properties. It helps to fight hormonal imbalance, bronchitis and flatulence. It prevents the development of kidney stones and proves to be an excellent source of phosphorus, calcium and iron.