Garam Masala (India) is the most fragrant & wonderfully aromatic blend of spices used throughout India, garam means "hot" or "heating" and masala means "spice blend". The "hot" does not necessarily refer to the kind of heat we find in hot chilies, but to the fact that the spices are first toasted, then ground.
Background We've heard the delicate marriage of spices in Garam Masala increases body temperature, where one feels a pleasant, warm glow after eating a masala-flavored dish. Masalas most often include black pepper and cinnamon or cassia which carry some heat. Many of the traditional spices used in Garam Masala are most familiar in the West as sweet aromatic spices used in desserts or baking: cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mace, for example.
Regional Cuisine The diverse regions of India use different combinations and the blends of Garam Masala and will also differ from household to household where proportions may vary according to the dish being prepared. This special blend of spices is used in a small quantity at the end of cooking or fried in the beginning of cooking to add a subtle flavor to the cooked dish. Please note, Garam Masala must be added in small quantities, or else it will overpower the dish.