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Asafoetida is the dried latex from the rhizome of one
of the several species of giant fennel. It is grown
chiefly in Iran and Afghanistan from where it is
exported to the rest of the world. Asafoetida is ochre
in colour and the most widely used form is fine yellow
powder or granules. Asafoetida has a pungent,
unpleasant smell, quite like that of pickled eggs due
to presence of sulphur compounds. Its powerful aroma
complements lentils, vegetables and pickles. It is
always used in small quantites and a tiny pinch added
to hot oil before the addition of the other
ingredients is enough to flavour a dish for 4 persons.

(Taken from website of Tarla Dalal.

This is useed in Indian dishes. I don't like this
spice and I never use it. One can do without it. But
it is supposed to be good for digestion. 



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