The first requirement of an Indian cook is to become a good masalchi, or spice blender! This blend varies regionally throughout India. Garam, from Hindi, means ‘hot’, and masala means ‘spice mixture’; it is not, however, hot in the same way as a chilli, but pungent.
Use towards the end of cooking to draw out the flavours and preserve the aromas. Fantastic in baking when used in place of mixed spice.