Garam masala refers to a "hot" mixture and references the spice's pungency or warming effect, as opposed to heat as one would associate with chiilis or chilli peppers. It is available throughout india and varies from region to region, North to South. Typically, this spice is used close to the end of cooking of curries to intensify the aromas and add depth to a dish. Just a teaspoon or two is added. Recipe developed for Yuppie Chef.