I am trying to play cathup and I do understand that Asafoetida starts with the letter A – but the Indian name starts with the letter H – so i am sticking to that story – also i wanted to feature this spice because of its importance and relevance in vegetarian and vegan food preperation.
Hing or Asafoetida – is basically a dried latex – derived from the rhizome of several species of ‘Ferula’, and it belongs to the ‘Celery Family’. Asafoetida has an extraordinarily strong smell (often called stinking gum), but the smell is lost once it has been added to the cooking process – when cooked it resembles the flavour of leeks, onions and other onion like family members
Hing/asafoetida is used as digestive aid and as a condiment – it is an integral part of Indian vegetarian foods. It is a “must have” ingredient for lentil, dhal, beans, chick peas, cauliflower and ‘potatoes’, yes – potatoes – and potatoes are a gaseous vegetable – many of us don’t know and don’t treat it as a gaseous vegetable. For many dishes it is simply used as a ‘flavour enhancer’ or sometimes it is used to balance the tastes of sweet, sour and salty. To be able to extract the best out of hing/asafoetida – it is added during the time of the tempering process and this tempered mixture is added to the cooked dish and mixed in. Hing/asafoetida in its pure form is sold in chunks and bits are scraped or grated off to be used in cooking – however the odour of it in its pure form is very strong and can take over your home – it is best to buy the powder form and store the container it comes in – in another glass jar – so as to eliminate the strong smell.
This is one of those spices that does not have its roots in India (its roots go back to Persia – close to India) – but it is synonymous with Indian cuisine. Alexander the great brought it to the Mediterranean countries, when returning from his trip to ancient Persia. Jewish literature also makes mention of asafoetida – it is believed that during the rainy season warm foods with a hint of mustard and asafoetida is of great health benefits. Europe has now forgotten about the health benefits of consuming asafoetida – however India and Indian cuisine is not the same without the added health and taste benefits of asafoetida.
Health & Wellness Benefits of Asafoetida
Beauty Benefits of Asafoetida
Asafoetida & Ayurvedic Wisdom
The ancient wisdom of Ayurveda – a holistic approach to general health and wellbeing that hails from the land of legumes and beans and dhals and chick-peas – has a time and tried and tested solution for your post “chick-peas salad, curried beans or dhal and rice meal” – ” asafoetida” – there is not much scientific research to prove its efficiency in helping the human digestion – but there is sufficient evidence in “Ayurvedic Medicine” to prove its aid in aiding digestion. Generations of Indians have paired it with cumin, black pepper and ginger to bring out the best of its healing properties in all “difficult to digest” beans, legumes and lentils. Enjoy a ‘chick-pea salad, curried beans, or lentils and a beans burrito – and don’t despair – a dash/pinch of asafoetida is all you will need to sort your stomach woes!!!
Asafoetida to the rescue – for your natural health, wellbeing and the glow in your skin!! Go on give it a try – what do you have to lose??
NB:- this is a natural healthy ingredient to add to your daily meals – by no means is it a replacement for your medication for medical issues.