Asafoetida or asafetida is known as devil's dung, stinking gum. It is also refered to as
It is commonly known in Indian languages as Hing (Gujarathi, Marathi, Hindi) . in other languages, Ingu (Kannada), Ingua (Telgu) , Perungayam (Tamil).
Asafetida is a native of Persia (Iran). It is naturally available in Afganistan, Iran, Pakistan, India. 'Asa' means 'resin'. Asafoetida is a resin like gum from the dried sap that is extracted from the stem and roots.
Hing is available in dried resin form and is very hard. Asafoetida in resin form is difficult to grate and is usually crushed and powdered.
The fine powder form is available and usually contains wheat/rice flour and gum.
It has a unique pungent smell and flavor when raw. Some people find the raw smell unpleasant and overpowering but when the dish is cooked, it adds a smooth flavor similar to leeks, onions, garlic (though not exactly the same).
It is a 'must have spice' in the Indian cooking, vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian dishes, especially for the curries, be it vegetable curries, lentil curries. It also makes Indian pickles more inviting.
Only a pinch needs to be added. It is generally added to the cooking oil/ fat /ghee and fried for a few seconds. It gives a good taste and aroma like sauteed onions and garlic.
Another way to add hing to a dish is a pinch can also be added to a little water and then that water is added to the curry.
Apart from being used as a spice in cooking, it has many medicinal properties.
It is used as a digestive aid in food. It is also used in many digestive help products along with other herbs and spices.
It is an anti-flatulent and is used with lentil or eggplant / aubergine dishes and also in other beans, potato dishes which may produce more stomach gas.
It helps to treat stomach problems, yeast infections, flatulence. It is also useful for asthma and bronchitis , cold symptoms, chronic fatigue, as well as whooping cough.
It is also Anti-epileptic.
According to Ayurveda (Indian medicine system), asafetida is one of the
best spices for balancing the vata dosha (gas problem).
Asafetida has very strong odor when raw / uncooked, you should store it in airtight container.
It is available mostly in powder forms as it is easier to use in that form.
There are many companies selling asafoetida - hing in India.
Some of the known names are Ramdev hing, Kubal hing, Laljee Godhoo (LG) hing, Everest, SSP, Vanadevi, Banke Bihari, MDH, Diamond, Bhagvati, Durga, Heera, Vidya, Shree, Nag etc.
Hope you find this info about asafoetida - asafetida useful.