Garam means "warmth or hot" in Indian. Garam Masala is a traditional spice blend for Northern India and South Asia. It’s spicy and hot, but not peppery hot like commonly thought of in North America. It is a flavor packed combination of cumin, cardamom, cloves and other spices. These spices are usually mixed with vinegar or coconut milk to make a paste in which onions, nuts and garlic are often added.
When cooking with Garam Masala, you may want to wait until the end of the cooking process before sprinkling it in so you will not lose the fragrant aroma. Lightly toasting this spice blend beforehand will release more of the flavor and increase its scent.