Cloves are dried up flower buds. The fully-grown, unopened buds, are picked green and dried in the sun till they become dark brown and are ready to be used for culinary and medicinal purposes.
Clove is extensively used in Indian cooking. The flavor it imparts to food is strong and warm. Clove is mostly used to flavor spicy food where the whole clove is cooked in oil or ghee. Clove is also a part of Garam Masala in the ground form. Use of clove in desserts is not very common in India, though not unheard of.