Author Topic: Bay Leaves (Tej Patta)  (Read 17668 times)

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Offline Cory Ander

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Bay Leaves (Tej Patta)
« on: December 10, 2007, 01:40 AM »
Bay Leaves (Tej Patta)

There are two main types of bay leaves:

  • "European" Bay Leaves ("Tej Patta Laurel")
  • "Indian" Bay Leaves ("Tej Patta Cassia")

The two types have distinctly different flavours and aromas and should not be confused.

"European" bay leaves should be used unless "Indian" bay leaves are specifically called for in a recipe.

Both types can be used fresh or dried, though dried are more commonly used.

They are generally added whole, to main dishes and rice dishes, and are removed prior to serving.  They are also used ground in garam masalas and curry powders. 

"European" Bay Leaves:

"European" bay leaves (laurel leaves) are from a laurel bush.  They grow to about 7cm (3inches) long.   They can be recognised by the single vein running down the centre of the leaf (see photo 1).   They are found worldwide, especially in Europe.  They are grown in England but not in India.  "European" bay leaves have a far more subtle aroma and flavour than "Indian" bay leaves.

"Indian" Bay Leaves:

"Indian" bay leaves (tamala leaves) are from a cassia (or cinnamon) tree. They are sometimes also called "cassia leaves".  They can be recognised by the multiple veins running down the centre of the leaf (see photo 2).  They are more difficult to obtain than "European" bay leaves.  They are slightly bigger and are far more aromatic and fragrant than "European" bay leaves.  "Indian" bay leaves have a powerful, aromatic aroma and flavour.  They can easily overpower a dish, with their distinctive flavour, and should therefore be used with caution.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2008, 01:40 PM by Cory Ander »

Offline Cory Ander

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Re: Bay Leaves (Tej Patta)
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2007, 01:46 AM »
Photo 1 - "European" Bay Leaves (note the single vein)
Photo 2 - "Indian" Bay Leaves (note the multiple veins)
Photo 3 - "European" (on the left) and "Indian" (on the right) Bay Leaves Compared


Offline Jethro

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Re: Bay Leaves (Tej Patta)
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2007, 09:35 AM »
"European" Bay Leaves:

"European" bay leaves (laurel leaves) are from a laurel bush.  They grow to about 7cm (3inches) long.   They can be recognised by the single vein running down the centre of the leaf (see photo 1).   They are found worldwide, especially in Europe.  They are grown in England but not in India.  "European" bay leaves have a far more subtle aroma and flavour than "Indian" bay leaves.


Have to be a bit careful on this one.
It must come from the Laurus nobilis plant, not any other sort of laurel such as the type using in hedging (which is actually from the Prunus family)
So dont eat this one:

 ;)

Offline George

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Re: Bay Leaves (Tej Patta)
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2008, 01:12 AM »
Have to be a bit careful on this one.
It must come from the Laurus nobilis plant, not any other sort of laurel such as the type using in hedging (which is actually from the Prunus family)
So dont eat this one:

S***, I think I've been using leaves from the hedging type. I hope I haven't been poisoned. But MarkJ's base sauce tasted even better after I'd added a fresh leaf from my hedge.

This web site continues to be a gold mine of information. Many thanks.

Regards
George


Offline haldi

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Re: Bay Leaves (Tej Patta)
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2008, 08:47 AM »
OK, now I am really confused
This is the first time, I have ever seen, an Indian Bay Leaf
If you look at my uploaded picture, you will see what you call "European Bay Leaves"
and these are from an East End spice pack
They make the spices used in lots of BIR's
So do BIR use European bay leaves?
I'll have a good look next time I'm in an Asian supermarket to see if I can find any Indian Bay leaves
Where did you get yours, CA ?
Was it sold loose or bagged?

Offline Cory Ander

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Re: Bay Leaves (Tej Patta)
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2008, 10:30 AM »
Indian bay leaves (sometimes called cassia leaves) have the distinctive 4 veins Haldi.  They have a very pungent, musty, cinnamony, smell.

Those you have look like European bay leaves to me.  They hardly smell at all.

I have only ever (in 25 of years of curry cooking) seen asian bay leaves in one asian shop (in Australia).  That's where I bought mine from, in a big bag.

I guess (and it is a guess) that BIRs use European bay leaves.  The taste of Asian bay leaves is simply too overpowering (in my opinion) and European bay leaves are far easier to come by.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2008, 01:39 PM by Cory Ander »

Offline haldi

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Re: Bay Leaves (Tej Patta)
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2008, 05:32 PM »
Hi CA
      Yes I think you're right
BIR's use european bay leaves
I checked two commercial brands (East End & Natco) and they are the European leaf
I'm going to keep looking for the indian variety
I had no idea they were from a cassia tree
I would love to try it
How about that, two different but great flavours from one plant?
I guess it's a bit like coriander leaves and seeds


Offline Unclebuck

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Re: Bay Leaves (Tej Patta)
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2008, 04:00 PM »
I have only ever (in 25 of years of curry cooking) seen asian bay leaves in one asian shop (in Australia).  That's where I bought mine from, in a big bag.

Indian bay leaves are readably available from any Asian supermarket i buy TRS bay leaf also i think rajah dose both types so careful there... as for bir's they use both. but Ive been chatting to a ex bir chef and tells me and i quote "make sure you buy Indian bay leaves not English ones"
 ;D
« Last Edit: February 25, 2008, 06:44 PM by unclebuck »

Offline George

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Re: Bay Leaves (Tej Patta)
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2008, 01:25 AM »
Quote from: george
True, if they are dry and stale out of an old packet!  But fresh Bay leaves or 'fresh' dried ones have a great aroma / flavour

I've never tried fresh (from a privot hedge or otherwise George  ;)

I guess all my dried ones have been old and stale then...regardless of the fact that they have always been from new, previously unopened, bags.

Try smelling some Asian ones (by way of contrast) and I think you will see what I mean.

Ooops!  :o

Sorry George!  I seem to have accidentally written over your post!  :-[

Can you remember what you said?!  ::)
« Last Edit: February 27, 2008, 11:29 AM by Cory Ander »

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Re: Bay Leaves (Tej Patta)
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2008, 03:49 AM »
Thanks alot for postng these since I was deciding for a nice herb to mash up and use and as a decrotive purpose also.

Top quality photographs and a very nice looking herb indeed.


 

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