Pronounce it: gar-am mah-sarl-ah
Meaning 'warming spice mix', garam masala is the main spice blend used in North Indian cookery. There are many different versions, often dictated by region, but most contain a selection of the following: cassia leaf (if you can't get hold of cassia, try bay leaf), black pepper, cardamom, chilli, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, fennel, mace and nutmeg. It can be added at the start of cooking but it's more usual to add it at the end, or to sprinkle it over food just before it's served, a little like salt and pepper.
Add to curries and stews.