Species: Cinnamomum tamala
Indian Bay Leaf(Cinnamomum tamala):
Often confused with Bay Laurel(Laurus nobilis)
Other names: ತಮಾಲ (Tamaala) in Kannada (ಕನ್ನಡ), மரப்பட்டை இலை (Pattai Illai) in தமிழ் (Tamizh), tejpat, tejapatta, Malabar leaf, Indian bark, Indian cassia, or malabathrum
Appearance: Long, wide, olive green in color, with three veins down the length of the leaf
Typically used: Whole as a seasoning and removed before serving.
Origin: A tree in the Lauraceae family, native to India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and China
Flavor: Subtle cinnamon
Culinary uses: Add to soups, stews, curries, chili, as well as rice dishes. Use whole and remove before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Should I use this whole or ground?
A. Indian Bay Leaf is tough and is best used whole or in large pieces and then removed before eating. When it's in little pieces, they can be sharp or gritty, which is uncomfortable to eat.
Q. What's the difference between the Indian Bay Leaf and the non-Indian Bay Leaf?
A. The most common Bay Leaf in North America is called Laural Bay Leaf (Laurus nobilis). It's not related to the Indian Bay Leaf, and it has a different more savory flavor, whereas Indian Bay Leaf tastes like light cinnamon.