Cloves are the aromatic flower buds of a tree in the family Myrtaceae, Syzygium aromaticum. The clove tree is an evergreen that grows up to 8–12 metres (26–39 ft) tall.
Cloves are used in the Indian kitchen as well as Asian, African, Mediterranean and the Middle East countries, lending flavor to meats, curries, and marinades. Cloves may be used to give aromatic and flavor qualities to hot beverages, often combined with other ingredients such as lemon and sugar. They are a common element in spice blends such as pumpkin pie spice and speculoos spices. Indian Chai is often spiced with some crushed cloves.
Whole or ground cloves are used to flavor sauces, soups and rice dishes, notably a number of traditional Indian dishes, and it’s one of the components of garam masala. Whole cloves are either removed before serving or picked out of the dish. Even when cooked, whole cloves have a very hard, woody texture that would be unpleasant to bite into. If you use this spice, remember to use it sparingly never in huge quantity. It is can be best stored in an air tight container.
In Ayurveda, cloves are said to be kaphahar which means that they have the ability to balance the kapha dosha. Kapha governs the structure and fluid in the body. At home, using cloves for clearing up cold has been an ancient natural remedy.
Recipe using Cloves – Pumpkin Spiced Cake