An inseparable spice of Indian cuisine, asafoetida or Strong Hing Powder, is a gum obtained from a type of giant fennel. It has an aggressive smell but an appetizing flavor and umami taste.
There is a genus of a perennial herb called Ferula which gives off a special type of sap from its taproot. This sap is a dried latex or resin called asafoetida. This plant is native to Iran and the Middle East but can be found as far as India, where it is widely cultivated. Although the smell of the plant is very pungent, when used in cooking and food preparation, the taste and aroma are worthy of tantalizing taste-buds. Some of the common names for Ferula assafoetida include ascent, devil dung, ting, and hing.