Garam Masala is an aromatic and hot spice mixture that is essential to numerous types of dishes in Indian, Nepalese and Pakistani cooking. The words mean "hot spices" and as well as adding the "heat" to Indian cooking, the spice mix should be subtle and aromatic. It is usually added towards the end of the cooking time, or even as a final garnish, unlike commercial curry powders that need to "cook" off the cornflour and other anti-clogging ingredients. This is my favourite Garam Masala mixture; there is no "standardised" recipe for this spice mixture, but I suspect that every Indian, Nepalese and Pakistani home will have their own "secret" mix! Grind the spices in smallish quantities to preserve the flavour and quality of the mixture, and then store in an airtight container, away from direct sunlight and heat. NB: Black cumin seeds are also called Royal Cumin or Shah Zeera. This spice mix makes a great gift - especially if you tie a recipe card around the neck of the jar with a whole piece of cinnamon!