How to Use Hing to Make Your Dishes Tastier

Hing, also known as asafetida, is a unique and pungent spice that has been a staple in Indian cuisine for centuries. With a history as rich as its flavour, hing has garnered attention not only for its culinary significance but also for its remarkable health benefits. Originating from the resin of the Ferula plant, this aromatic gum has made its way into kitchens and medicine cabinets worldwide. Here we explore the origins of hing, learn its potential health advantages, and uncover the right ways to incorporate it into your culinary and wellness routines.  


Hing, scientifically known as Ferula assa-foetida, is derived from the resinous sap of the Ferula plant, a species native to the mountainous regions of Afghanistan and Iran. The sap is collected by making incisions in the plant's roots, allowing the milky white resin to ooze out and solidify into gum-like chunks. These chunks are then ground into a fine powder or mixed with a carrier substance, creating the hing we commonly use in our kitchens.   

Health Benefits 

Digestive Aid: Hing is renowned for its digestive properties. It contains compounds like coumarins and sulfur compounds that stimulate the production of digestive enzymes, easing bloating, gas, and indigestion. Adding a pinch of hing to legume-based dishes can reduce flatulence.  

Anti-inflammatory: Its anti-inflammatory nature makes hing a valuable addition to traditional Ayurvedic medicine. It's often used to alleviate digestive discomfort and soothe irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).  

Respiratory Relief: Hing's volatile oils possess antimicrobial properties that can help clear respiratory passages. It's used in herbal remedies to ease symptoms of bronchitis and asthma.  

Blood Pressure Regulation: Some studies suggest that hing may have a mild hypotensive (blood pressure-lowering) effect, contributing to heart health.  

Anti-microbial: Hing has natural anti-microbial properties that can inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria and parasites in the digestive tract. 

The Right Way to Use Hing  


Hing is primarily used as a spice in cooking. It is known for enhancing the flavor of various dishes, especially vegetarian ones. To use it, heat a small amount of ghee or oil in your cooking pan and add a pinch of hing. Let it sizzle for a few seconds before adding other ingredients.  


Hing is frequently used in tempering or tadka in Indian cuisine. It adds a distinct aroma and flavor to dals (lentil soups) and vegetable preparations. After heating oil or ghee, add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and hing for a flavorful tempering.  

Powdered Form 

You can find hing in powdered form in most spice stores. It's convenient to use and can be added directly to dishes. Start with a small amount, as hing can be quite potent and can taste bitter if added in great amounts.   

Asafoetida Water 

To alleviate digestive discomfort, dissolve a pinch of hing in warm water and consume it after meals. This can help reduce bloating and gas.  

Ayurvedic Remedies 

In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, hing is used in various remedies. For specific health concerns, consult an Ayurvedic practitioner for guidance.  

Word of Caution: Keep in mind that hing is intensely flavored. A little goes a long way, and excessive use can overpower your dish. It's also not recommended for pregnant women, infants, or people with certain medical conditions.