Aarti says: "Pronounced 'GUH-rum ma-SAA-laa'. Masala means, more or less, spice mix — and don't confuse it with maRsala, which is a sweet fortified wine. Two different things entirely! 'Garam' means hot; this particular blend of spices punches up whatever you have going on already. Every garam masala mix is different, and every Indian cook has their own blend (my mum's is strictly cinnamon and cloves, nothing else). The kind you find at the supermarket has a lot of coriander and cumin in it, which I don't like, but it's great if you're just starting out or you're in a pinch. I make a version that uses cinnamon, cloves and cardamom."
In the Star lunch trucks challenge, Aarti used garam masala to give Tri-Tip Tacos (pictured) some Indian flair.
Read on for more of Aarti's top spices ...