Showing posts with label bay leaf. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bay leaf. Show all posts

Nov 23, 2015

Ingredient of the Week: Cassia Leaf, Bay Leaf, or Tej Patta?

There's always a lot of confusion over this leaf- 

Tej Patta Indian Bay leaf
Tej Patta, Cassia leaf, or Indian Bay leaf

It is often incorrectly referred to as a "Bay leaf" in Indian recipes. The leaf is actually from the Cinnamonum cassia tree (also called the Chinese cassia, or Chinese cinnamon tree), it is not the true "Bay leaf" of the Mediterranean native Laurus nobilis tree (also called Greek Laurel or Bay tree). The leaves of the Cinnamomum cassia tree are commonly called "Tej Patta" in India and Nepal & have an entirely different flavor than the aromatic Mediterranean bay leaf.
Tej = radiant, lustrous, shining
Patta = leaf
The leaves of the Chinese cassia have a delicate cinnamon flavor - much like the ground bark of the Ceylon Cinnamon tree (Cinnamonum verum or true cinnamon tree). You can tell a cassia leaf/tej patta quite easily from a Mediterranean bay leaf by it's distinctive 3 veins & mild cinnamon scent.
If you are unable to find tej patta where you live I'd suggest adding 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon to replace it's flavor in a recipe.

Our neighbor's young Tej Patta or Chinese Cassia tree.

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