In Indian and Pakistani cuisine, bay laurel leaves are sometimes used in place of Indian bay leaf, although they have a different flavour. They are most often used in rice dishes like biryani and as an ingredient in garam masala. Bay (laurel) leaves are frequently packaged as tejpatta (????????, the Hindi term for Indian bay leaf), creating confusion between the two herbs.
In the Philippines, dried bay laurel leaves are used in several Filipino dishes such as menudo, beef pares, and adobo.
Bay leaves were used for flavouring by the ancient Greeks. They are a fixture in the cooking of many European cuisines (particularly those of the Mediterranean), as well as in the Americas. They are used in soups, stews, meat, seafood, vegetable dishes, and sauces. The leaves also flavour many classic French dishes. The leaves are most often used whole (sometimes in a bouquet garni) and removed before serving (they can be abrasive in the digestive tract). Thai and Laotian cuisine employs bay leaf (Thai: ????????, bai kra wan) in a few Arab-influenced dishes, notably massaman curry.
Bay leaves can also be crushed or ground before cooking. Crushed bay leaves impart more fragrance than whole leaves, but are more difficult to remove, and thus they are often used in a muslin bag or tea infuser. Ground bay laurel may be substituted for whole leaves, and does not need to be removed, but it is much stronger.
Bay leaves are also used in the making of jerk chicken in the Caribbean Islands. The bay leaves are soaked and placed on the cool side of the grill. Pimento sticks are placed on top of the leaves and the chicken is placed on top and smoked.