Iconic Indian Spice Hing Comes Home! (E)
It may come as a big surprise that hing the much loved Indian spice is actually a plant product. Another big surprise is that it was not grown in India until a few months back. The iconic Indian spice hing or asafoetida is derived from Ferula assa-foetida and it has finally found a new home in the cold deserts of India. India imports all its hing from Iran and Afghanistan but now after sincere efforts, Hing plants have been planted in Lahaul Valley as it requires a cold and dry climate. Currently, India imports about 1500 tons of raw hing and then processes it. With an effort being made to grow hing in India, this is a thrilling story of import substitution and atmanirbhar India. Dr Sanatsujat Singh, a scientist from the Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology, Palampur walks with the team as we braved the highly unfavourable and frigid conditions to reach the location where the first plants of hing have been planted in a farmers field to get the first visuals of the frozen hing plants. If all goes well in the next five years the wastelands of Lahaul may start yielding hing.