Cloves are the unopened flower buds of a tree native to the Spice Islands of Indonesia. This dark brown spice is commonly used in Indian and Chinese cooking. The French call them clou de girofle (translates to 'nail of clove') because their appearance resembles nails. A powerful, pungent and warming spice, cloves are used whole to impart an aromatic flavour to curries, meat or rice dishes. Powdered, cloves are one of the main ingredients in garam masala. To accentuate the flavour, whole cloves may be dry-roasted. They take less than 2 minutes, even quicker if roasting the ground form. Whole cloves are not meant to be eaten so are best removed prior to serving, if possible.