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Asafoetida, called hing in Hindi, is an essential spice used in household and commercial kitchen in the form of dry crystals, cake, powder or paste. A pinch of hing is added to many Indian dishes. This ingredient can be easily found on the shelves of supermarkets and grocery stores. This ingredient is added in almost all South Indian dishes, like rasam, sambar and poriyals. Its use is not limited to any weather, as it can be taken in summer and cold. 

Here are some health benefits listed when you use Asafoetida/Hing:

•  Hing/Asafoetida/Perugayam is really helpful in improving stomach health. People who regularly experience bloating, acidity or constipation must use this ingredient in their food to treat such stomach disorders. It also improves the digestion. 

•  This is an ingredient that must be used in food on daily basis to help people get relief from chest congestion, allergies, common cold or even other respiratory disorders. 

•   Asafoetida is great for skin too, as it improves skin texture, moisture and radiance.

•   Females who have PCOD or have menstrual issues can benefit by just start using this ingredient while making food. This is a natural antioxidant that can provide relief from menstrual cramps.

•   It also acts like detoxifying agent that flushes out toxins from the body and also balances the pH levels in the blood.

When you open the box of asafoetida/hing, you will get an intense pungent flavour. 


Hing is an ingredient used in preparing Pavakkai/bitter gourd gravy. 



• 1 Long Pavakkai

• 1 cup onion

• 1 cup tomato

• 5 or 6 pieces of garlic

• 1/2 tablespoon chilli powder

• 2 tablespoons oil

• Salt to taste

For Seasoning

• 1 tablespoon ghee

• Curry leaves

• 1/2 teaspoon Asafoetida (Hing)

Pavakkai together with tomatoes and onions are used for making delicious Pavakkai gravy that is mainly served with hot steamed rice topped with ghee.

How to make Pavakkai Gravy

1. The first step of making Pavakkai gravy is to slice pavakkai, onions, garlic and tomatoes. 

2. Keep a tadka pan over medium flame and add ghee, sliced onions, tomatoes and garlic. Fry the ingredients well and then add a pinch of hing, salt to taste and chilli powder while stirring the ingredients.

3. After a couple of minutes, add sliced pavakkai in it and fry well. Add curry leaves and a little bit of water. Give the mix a brisk boil for minutes and turn off the flame.

4. Transfer the gravy to a serving bowl and serve it hot with rice or roti.

South Indian Simple Rasam Recipe


•   2 tbsp oil

•   1 tsp mustard

•   2 dried red chilli

•   few curry/coriander leaves

•   Hing / asafoetida powder

•   1 tomato

•   Â¼ tsp turmeric

•   1 tsp salt

•   1 cup tamarind extract

•   1 cup water

•   1 tbsp rasam powder

•   3 clove garlic

•  2 tbsp coriander stem

Rasam served with rice is the most cherished South Indian meal by South Indians as well as people living in North India. You will find the difference in taste of rasam prepared in different Indian states. 

If you want to achieve the original taste, flavour and consistency of Rasam, then it is best to use freshly made spice masala. Prepare rasam powder using a set of spices, including fenugreek, coriander, cumin, turmeric root, and pepper. The freshly made spice masala adds freshness to the rasam. People down with cold or flu can consume rasam as it tastes good as well as have medicinal effect on body. 

How to Prepare Simple Rasam

1. Keep a kadai over medium flame and add 2 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon mustard seeds and allow it to crack. It’s time to add two dried red chillies and a few curry leaves along with a pinch of hing/ asafoetida.

2. Saute for a minute and then add freshly prepared rasam powder and again saute for a minute.

3. Add sliced and chopped tomato and garlic along with ¼ tablespoon turmeric and 1 tablespoon salt. Add more salt if you feel necessary. 

4. Saute till until tomatoes become soft and mushy.

5. Add 1 cup tamarind extract and 1 cup of water to it while continuously stirring the ingredients.

6. Cover the kadhai and let it boil for around 5 minutes.

7. The last step is to add 2 tablespoon of coriander stem and curry leaves. Transfer the South Indian rasam to serving bowl and enjoy it with hot steamed rice.