There is a spice, a very strange and uncommon spice that is unfamiliar to most western palates, but not to central Asian folks. In fact this particular spice has been around for ages, and is widely used in Indian cuisine. I am referring to asafoetida, also known as Hing, which is a potent resin with a powerful aroma, something akin to musty, earthy smells. Or in some cases it has been deemed to have an odor of sweat. But don't let the odor fool you, once a tiny pinch of the resin is sauteed in hot oil or ghee (clarified butter) the spice dissolves and emits a smell reminiscent of onions and garlic. The infused oil is used to add depth and complexity to a variety of savory dishes such as rice, vegetables and legumes ordal. It can also be mixed with salt and eaten with raw salads. For those vegetarians who shun garlic and onion, asafoetida is a great replacement.