Asafoetida - Hing

Yet another wonderful spice, this flavour-packed little thing is among those spices that adds an unforgettable touch to our food. It is used both while cooking and also in pickles and has numerous benefits. Indian spice asafoetida is often added to savoury dishes and is among the commonly used ingredients that you will find in every Indian household. It has a pungent smell to it that fades off eventually when cooked and replaces it with a strong and aromatic flavour. Among the history of Indian spices, asafoetida possesses some very wonderful ones as well. 

Have you ever thought about what makes your favourite Chinese dishes so tasty? It is asafoetida. This wonderful condiment gives that distinct flavour to the Chinese cuisine we get in our Indian restaurants.

It actually belongs to the celery family. Asafoetida is derived from a substance similar to gum or resin and is yellowish in colour.

The history of Hing

This condiment was used in the early periods by the Romans and Greeks in their cooking but later disappeared from those regions. In India, as ancient texts prescribe, asafoetida was introduced by Afghanistan from anywhere between 300 BC to 600 BC; native to the country.

But how did it come into existence? When Alexander the Great and his army were attempting to cross the Hindu Kush in Afghanistan, they came across this plant then. Since then it has been widely used in cooking and medicinal uses. 

Asafoetida benefits 

Apart from being used as a significant cooking ingredient, this spice also has numerous health benefits. This makes it a very vital element to add in your list of daily cooking ingredients. Although research for this spice is very limited, there are certain potential benefits that are said to be present when we consume this spice. Here is a list of asafoetida benefits that you should know:

1] It has a good amount of antioxidants.

Asafoetida is rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants are an important element for us because they provide us with protection from free radicals. Free radicals are those molecules that are unstable and cause damage and illness. Antioxidants help us in fighting the free radicals that are present in our cells. 

2] It could help you with your digestion.

Another benefit of asafoetida for health is that it can aid us in our digestion. Asafoetida helps in boosting our digestion because it works to enhance the function of our digestive enzymes. This is why often it is used as an aid to ease the issue of indigestion. It also helps by releasing bile which is essential in the process of digesting fats. Thus, it is used very commonly for easing out any digestive issues.

3] It can help with respiratory issues like Asthma.

Since asafoetida has anti-inflammatory properties, it helps in easing out respiratory issues like asthma, bronchitis and the likes. It is also very effective in getting rid of any sort of chest congestions and dry coughs that you might be facing. Certain research studies done in this area have shown that asafoetida works to relieve the throat muscles which is why it can be effective in this arena. You can make a paste of it and apply it on your chest for beneficial results. 

4] It can help you maintain your blood pressure.

Asafoetida works well to help you maintain your blood pressure levels because it is a natural blood thinner. It has molecules like coumarin that helps in easing out the flow of blood and also works to improve the flow. You can add hing to warm water and it is recommended to have it on an empty stomach. You can even add some hing to your milk, buttermilk or tea if you do not wish to consume it in plain water.

5] It helps you with relieving your bloating and menstrual pain. 

Since it's a natural blood thinner, it improves the quality of blood flow which helps a lot with menstrual pain and other stomach-related issues. It secretes progesterone which is what boosts this smooth flow of blood. If you consume asafoetida during your periods, it should surely help you alleviate your pain. 

6] It aids you in losing weight quickly. 

Hing added to warm water can help you in boosting your weight loss problem. It boosts your metabolism and increases it aiding you in the process. Half a teaspoon of hing added to warm water should be able to help you in losing weight quickly. 

How to use asafoetida? 

There Are many Asafoetida uses. Your favourite hing condiment can be used for both hing seasoning, adding a lot of power packed flavour as well as for medicinal purposes. Hing seasoning is added to a wide array of Indian dishes and is also one of the stars of the cuisine. It's recommended to add it to hot oil to retain its flavour to the best. Hing is best used for flatulence and can be consumed by adding a little bit in warm water. It should help with the indigestion and help in releasing the trapped gases. Consumption of  high tea can also help with the various issues. Add some hing to your ginger tea and enjoy the aromatic flavour. 

Although best used in gravies, you can use it in almost any dish as a substitute for garlic or onion. This is because it has a flavour similar to that of garlic and can be replaced. This spice needs to be blended properly in dishes for its flavour to come out properly; it should not be added on top of the dish. It is used in lentil dishes like daal and was used in traditional Ayurveda for curing the problem of indigestion.

So, this lovely condiment is definitely something you should include in your daily dishes. Try our masala box collection to store hing as well as your favourite Indian spices in one place. So, you won't have to worry about running here and there to search for your desired spice. 

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