Clove is a common spice in Indian cooking and its anise notes are easily recognizable in many Indian preparations. The strong, almost medicinal flavor of clove comes from the concentration of essential oils. Cloves are technically flowers, and a lot of their oils are pressed out before they are dried and used in cooking. Cloves can be used whole or blended into spice mixes. They do need to be used with caution, however, as they can tend to overpower more delicate spices.