Bay leaf – Essential Indian Spice
Bay leaves are what you will find in various Indian dishes. A rich source of vitamin A and C along with folic acid and minerals.
It is an integral part of Indian cuisine.
Bay leaf has medicinal properties and is also used in cooking. The freshly dried bay leaves have a warm aroma, i.e. infused into cooking. The leaf is crushed before being used. The leaf is used for flavouring stews, dishes that need a long time to cook and soups.
If consumed as a whole, bay leaves (Laurus nobilis) are pungent and have a sharp, bitter taste. With many spices and flavours, the fragrance of the bay leaf is more noticeable than its taste. When dried, the fragrance is slightly floral and somewhat similar to thyme. Myrcene, which is a component of many essential oils used in perfumes can be extracted from the bay leaf.
Bay Leaf is 100% Natural product
This herb is mostly used for meats and less often for vegetables. Bay leaves have been found to be effective in treating type 2 diabetes as they cause a reduction in blood glucose, cholesterol and triglyceride levels It contains enzymes that enable the breakdown of proteins, thus making it an excellent spice for non-vegetarian diets.
These leaves are used in both their fresh and dried forms to flavour soups, stews, braises etc. The leaves contain about 1.3% essential oils (ol. lauri folii), consisting of 45% eucalyptol, 12% other terpenes, 8-12% terpinyl acetate, 3–4% sesquiterpenes, 3% methyleugenol, and other α- and β-pinenes, phellandrene, linalool, geraniol, terpineol, and contain lauric acid also.
Bay leaves are also used in the making of jerk chicken in the Caribbean Islands. The bay leaves are soaked and placed on the cool side of the grill. Pimento sticks are placed on top of the leaves and the chicken is placed on top and smoked. The leaves are also added whole to soups, stews, and other Caribbean dishes.
They can also be used to repel meal moths, flies, cockroaches, mice, and silverfish. The leaves disable the growth of molds. It certainly is rich in various essential oil components that could incapacitate insects in high concentrations; such compounds include 1,8-cineole, alpha-terpinyl acetate, and methyl eugenol.
They were used by the ancient Greeks. They are common in the cooking of many European cuisines (particularly those of the Mediterranean), as well as in the Americas. They are used in stews, meat, seafood, vegetable dishes, and sauces. The leaves also grace many classic French dishes. The leaves are used as a whole and removed before serving (they can be abrasive in the digestive tract). Thai and Laotian cuisine employs bay leaf (Thai: ใบกระวาน, bai kra wān) in a few Arab-influenced dishes, notably massaman curry.
Bay leaves can also be crushed before cooking. Crushed bay leaves impart fervent fragrance than whole leaves, but are more difficult to remove, and thus they are often used in a muslin bag or tea infuser. They are said to have strong effects on the gastrointestinal system. It helps decrease the toxicity of the body and further helps the body in functioning well. Organic compounds found in them are effective for settling an upset stomach. Some of the complex proteins cannot be easily digested by the body, which is when bay leaves play a major role. The unique enzymes present in these leaves help in efficient digestion. Rutin that is found in bay leaves enhance our heart health. They both strengthen capillary walls in the heart and further eliminate LDL or bad cholesterol from the cardiovascular system.
They are commonly found in biryani, pulao, soups, curries and most Indian dishes. Also known as tej patta, this culinary herb is a part of the Indian cuisine, thanks to its distinctive flavour and fragrance. It is also known for its age-old medicinal benefits. Scientifically known as Laurus Nobilis, bay leaves are used for treating various health conditions. The presence of folic acid and various minerals in bay leaf makes it a nutrient-dense herb. Add bay leaves to your curries, rice dishes and other delicacies to make the most of the herb. Not only does it impart strong flavour to dishes, but also ensures delivering certain health benefits that cannot go unnoticed.