asoefetida (Ferula assafoetida)

  • Also known as Hing.
  • The word literally means "resin that smells fetid", which doesn't sound very attractive! It does have a powerful unpleasant smell on it's own, but it's not used like this.
  • It comes from a species of giant fennel. Latex is collected from the stems and the roots. This is then formed into a gum or resin. Commercially a small quantity of the resin is cut with wheat or rice flower, and probably other anti caking agents, to create asafoetida powder for the kitchen.
  • Asafoetida powder is a key flavouring enhancer in Indian vegetarian cooking.


  • Steenbergs Organic - Asafoetida (non-organic)Orginating from giant fennel, asafoetida is bitter, musky and acrid on its own but when fried briefly in hot oil in becomes pleasantly onion-like. Asafoetida is an important ingredient in Indian and the South East Asian cooking.