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Bay leaf, most commonly known as “Tejpatta” in Hindi, ‘Masala Aku‘ in Telugu, ‘Birinji Ilai‘ in Tamil, ‘Karuvaela‘ in Malayalam, ‘Paththa‘ in Kannada, ‘Tej Patha‘ in Beng...
Bay leaf, most commonly known as “Tejpatta” in Hindi, ‘Masala Aku‘ in Telugu, ‘Birinji Ilai‘ in Tamil, ‘Karuvaela‘ in Malayalam, ‘Paththa‘ in Kannada, ‘Tej Patha‘ in Bengali, ‘Tamal Patr‘ in Gujarati, ‘Tamal Patra‘ in Marathi, ‘Tezpatta‘ in Punjabi. Bay leaf is an aromatic leaf from the evergreen bay laurel tree, native to the Mediterranean. It is most widely used in cooking and preparing perfumes. The Indian bay leaf is basically a three veined leaf which is elliptical, pointed, smooth and tough.
Due to their bitter taste, bay leaves cannot be eaten directly but are often used to impart flavor to a variety of dishes, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. Bay leaf is extensively used in Indian, Nepalese and Bhutanese cuisines. It is an important spice in Moghulai dishes, particularly biryani and korma. Myrcene, which is a component of essential oils extracted from bay leaves, is used in perfumery. They also have the property of repelling flies, moths, mice etc. Apart from their culinary uses, they have medicinal properties and are known for their anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, diuretic and astringent qualities.
These leaves are pungent and have a sharp, bitter flavor. Their taste and fragrance are somewhat similar to the cinnamon bark but slightly milder. They are used in fresh, dried or powdered form. The oil extracted from bay leaves, called bay leaf oil has medicinal properties and is used to treat several ailments.