Bay leaves on black background
Why You Need To Keep Indonesian Bay Leaves In Your Pantry
By Andra Picincu
Some of Indonesia’s most tantalizing dishes use daun salam, or Indonesian bay leaves, to enhance the flavor. Indonesian bay leaves are not the same as Indian or European bay leaves and are known for their earthy flavor that compliments meat dishes and vegetable soups without overpowering other ingredients.
Daub salam is a versatile spice rich in quercetin (a flavonoid with anti-inflammatory effects) and may protect against diabetes while benefiting those with arthritis and elevated uric acid. Indonesian bay leaves can also be used in herbal teas as a natural remedy for gastritis, high blood sugar, and stomach pain.
Daun salam has to be cooked to bring out its flavor, and one option is to boil the leaves in coconut milk before using them in cooked dishes. Frying them works well if you want to add them to stews, fish soups, steaks, or rice, and for curry and sauces, you can add whole leaves to the mixture — just remember to remove them before serving.