Doryu asked in Food & DrinkCooking & Recipes · 1 decade ago

Ground Bay Leaves?

I am making Garam Masala, a traditional spice in many well known indian dishes, and an integral part of many Japanese curry recipes (as well as many *other* curry recipes as well). Many recipes call for finely ground bay leaves as part of the recipe. Oddly enough, through all my years of cooking I have never received a truly united opinion about bay leaves.

Are the hazardous to eat when finely ground?

As far as I know, it is only eating them when they are whole or in large pieces that is dangerous, but I wanted to ask the experienced cooks out there.

Any ideas?


Please keep in mind that am using finely ground bay leaves in this recipe.

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    Chefs use ground bay leaves to flavor foods so they can skip the problem of fishing for the leaves.

    hows that for an answer

  • 1 decade ago

    The problem with bay leaves came about years ago when some one choked on a peice of bay leaf in a tomato sauce at some restaurant. That was the only hazard. Since then McCormick and other spice manufacturers now offer ground bay leaf. It is perfectly fine. You can still use whole bay leaf, but it is wise to secure it in cheesecloth as a bouquet garni to insure it's removal after it has served it's purpose.

    Source(s): Former production manager for Marriott when the alert was first announced.
  • 1 decade ago

    As andywho stated I too was always under the assumption the whole leaves were a chocking hazard. That was why I was always taught to use 3 whole leaves in all recipes. this way if you would always use 3 you would know how many to take out. why 3 I don't know (holy trinity maybe)

  • 1 decade ago

    I don't mean to sound ignorant or patronising but I've been a chef for 10 years & honestly thats the first time I've heard that bay leaves were hazardous.

    I use whole dried bay leaves frequently in my mirapoix when making sauces & stews etc..I've never had a problem.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago


    Unlike the first chef, I have ALWAYS heard that bay leaves were toxic. This is why they are removed from a dish prior to finishing.

    I have not researched this on my own, I just take the leaves out of the pot.

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