Biryani as we know it may not have been the same without out this fragrant, leathery leaf. So would a lot of other fragrant and flavourful dishes we Indians take for granted. Bay leaf is used either fresh or dried. The flavour of this leaf intensifies as it it dries so does its fragrance. If stored carefully dried Bay leaf can stay fragrant and flavourful for up to two years.
Bay leaf are used in soups and stews, especially in dishes that simmer for long since they take time to release their flavour and fragrance. Bay laurel leaf and Bay leaf (indian) are of similar taste but are not the same, but can be substituted.