Bay leaves are found in different varieties. The two main varieties are California and Turkish Bay leaves. There is also a Malabar Bay leaf grown in India. Bay leaves are deep green, long and elliptical with pointy tips. They have delicate flavor and have a sweet fragrance. Dry bay leaves are used in Indian cooking in stews, soups, meat dishes and pilafs.
Bay leaves are either found fresh or dry. Indian cuisine usually makes use of dry bay leaves.
Bay leaves are usually found in the market in a bottle. Dry bay leaves can be stored in a dark place or in a pantry. They can stay in good condition for 2 years. Bay leaves are also used in Mediterranean cuisine. Look for leaves which are unblemished and whole.
Bay leaf has a bitter taste and are valued as an appetite stimulant and to cure bloated feeling. Bay leaf cannot be used whole or on it’s own but when used with other spices it rounds up the flavor profile. It brings a depth and complexity to a dish