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Cookbook | Recipes | Ingredients | Spices and herbs

Asafoetida, also known as hing, is a dark amber resin derived from the dried sap of wild fennel (Ferula asafoetida/Ferula foetida) stems and roots.

Jars of asafoetida powder

Production[edit | edit source]

The wild fennel used to make asafoetida is mainly grown in Iran, Afghanistan, and Kashmir. The most commonly available form of the spice is compounded asafoetida, a fine powder containing 30% asafoetida resin, along with flour and gum arabic.

Characteristics[edit | edit source]

Asafoetida powder has a strong odor and must be stored in airtight containers to avoid contaminating other foodstuffs. It loses its smell in cooking, however, and contributes an onion-like flavor to dishes.

Uses[edit | edit source]

This spice is used as a digestive aid and in pickles. In India, it is especially used by the Brahmin caste of the Hindus and by adherents of Jainism, who are not allowed to eat onions.