These are dried flower pods, which look like miniature black sceptres. They have a very strong distinct flavour that comes from the chemical eugenol so should be used sparingly.
Using Cloves (Laung) in Indian Cooking
Cloves leave a very warming sensation and are generally used in dishes alongside green cardamom. Indian Chai (tea) uses these two spices and is served very hot and sweet to balance the warming sensation this combination imparts. Cloves are also known to have anti-microbial properties.