Spice Leaves in Cooking and Its Benefits


Typical Indonesian cuisine is food that is known to be rich in spices. Various types of processed food from various tribes in the archipelago are used to add ingredients from nature so that it is certainly healthier and safer because it does not contain preservatives or chemicals that can be harmful to the human body. Among the types of natural spices that are commonly used for serving these dishes are types of leaves.

There are various types of leaves that are often used as a complement to cooking spices. The leaves usually serve to make dishes more delicious and add to the delicious aroma of the food. In addition, the leaves also turn out to have a number of good benefits for maintaining our health. Quoted from various sources, here are some types of spice leaves that are commonly used when cooking and their functions and benefits.

1. Bay leaf

Bay leaf is one type of leaf that is often used in various types of cuisine. The aroma of this thick and pointed leaf is very fragrant and distinctive, so it can add a delicious taste and delicious aroma to dishes. Bay leaves are also often used as a fishy smell remover in cooking. Bay leaves are usually added in a variety of stir-fried, pindang or pepes dishes fresh and dry. In addition, bay leaves can also be added to coconut milk dishes, soups, stews, and even steamed.

Fresh bay leaves contain vitamin C and help ward off free radicals. In addition, it also contains vitamin A and vitamin B complex which can help the body's metabolic processes. Some people also say that bay leaves can be a cure for diabetes and cure cancer. Reporting from WebMD, a study also found that drinking bay leaf tea can help lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and prevent blockage of blood vessels.

2. Basil Leaves

In the culinary world, basil leaves are commonly found and used for pepes, pindang, soup, or eaten fresh as vegetables with chili sauce. In Sundanese cuisine, basil is usually used as fresh vegetables which are eaten together with grilled fish or grilled chicken. The leaves of this shrub are oval in shape with a pointed tip, green and slightly hairy, with a fresh aroma similar to the aroma of lime. No wonder this basil leaf is indeed known as one of the spices to scent dishes.

Basil leaves contain potassium, magnesium, and vitamin A which are good for eye health. In addition, basil also contains anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial compounds. The content of polyphenolic flavonoids such as orientin and vicenin, as well as lutein in basil leaves also functions to protect the body from free radicals. Another benefit of basil leaves is that it can increase fiber intake and help control heart rate. Even the manganese contained in basil leaves is also needed by the body as an antioxidant-forming factor.

3. Orange Leaf

The distinctive aroma of lime leaves (kaffir lime) is often used as a flavoring ingredient in cooking. In addition, lime leaves also serve to add aroma and give a sour taste in cooking. Usually, lime leaves are often used in coconut milk dishes such as rendang. Other types of dishes that use lime leaves include gado-gado, tom yam, peanut brittle, and pecel. In addition, lime leaves are also commonly used as a garnish or decoration in food dishes.

Naturally, the content of citral and limonene compounds in lime leaves is efficacious to relieve fever and cough. Another benefit is to facilitate urination (diuretic) and sweat, and is very good at helping the digestive process. The content of vitamin C in lime leaves is also known to be effective in maintaining oral health. In addition, other properties of lime can also be used to accelerate wound healing on the skin, overcome respiratory disorders and treat diarrhea.

4. Pandan Leaves

Pandan leaves are commonly used for processed types of sweet dishes such as various sweet cakes, market snacks and also for stir fry. Compote dishes or mung bean porridge are also often added with pandan leaves to add aroma so that they can provoke appetite. The fragrant aroma of pandan leaves is indeed its allure, especially for making various sweet foods. In addition to adding aroma, pandan leaves can also be used as a natural green dye, of course, making food smell good naturally.

Pandan leaves contain beta-carotene and vitamin A, also contain antioxidants that are very good for endurance. The content of essential oils such as tannins, glycosides, and alkaloids as well as laxative components in pandan leaves can also help to increase stamina to cure insomnia. Another benefit of pandan leaves is that it can reduce fever, relieve headaches, relieve constipation, increase appetite, and can also be used to get rid of dandruff.

5. Shallots

Scallion is a type of leaf that is often found in Indonesian cuisine. Almost often we find leeks are in all kinds of dishes. Usually, scallions are used as a sprinkling for culinary flavoring in dumplings, soups, or sometimes in porridge menus. Not only that, scallions are also used as a mixture of food ingredients such as in vegetable bakwan, corn bakwan, egg omelette, martabak and many more. The aroma contained in scallions is commonly used to increase appetite.

In addition to cooking, leeks also have good properties for the health of our bodies. The iron content in leeks is good for maintaining healthy red blood cells, improving hemoglobin health, and being able to strengthen tissue cells in the body. In addition, the fiber content in leeks is good for our digestive health. Leeks which are usually added to soups are also useful for boosting the immune system and preventing our bodies from colds, fever, and flu. In addition, leeks also have antioxidants that are good for skin health and overall body.

6. Celery Leaves

This one leaf is usually found in a package with scallions. Although raw celery leaves have an unpleasant aroma, when mixed in cooking, celery leaves are able to make the dish have a fragrant and refreshing aroma. Celery leaves are often used as a complement to soupy dishes such as meatballs, vegetable soup, or soup. The unique taste makes this vegetable a mandatory composition for these foods.

Apart from being a food flavoring, this vegetable is also beneficial for the health of the body. Celery leaves are rich in various healthy nutritional content such as vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, folic acid, and also very few calories. The benefits of celery leaves include lowering cholesterol levels, preventing dengue fever, overcoming anemia, rheumatic drugs and preventing liver disease. As for beauty, celery leaves are also efficacious for dealing with hair loss, overcoming dandruff, moisturizing the skin, and overcoming oily skin that causes acne.

7. Curry Leaves

The leaves, which are also known as temurui/salam koja leaves, are widely used in the typical dishes of North Sumatra and Aceh to make savory dishes. Several types of dishes are required to use this leaf, such as curry, laksa, aceh caught chicken dishes, to curry. Leaves that look like star fruit leaves are also often used in coconut milk cooking. Because of its strong aroma, curry leaves are widely used as a flavor enhancer in cooking. Many foodies are interested in using curry leaves in various dishes.

Curry leaves themselves contain many natural vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, B, C, E, amino acids, magnesium, and folic acid. In addition, curry leaves are also known to have antimicrobial, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Some of the health benefits of curry leaves include treating anemia and skin infections, maintaining stable blood sugar levels, maintaining digestive function, maintaining eye health, helping lower bad cholesterol, and easing symptoms of diarrhea and ulcers.

These are some of the spice leaves that are commonly used as a complement to culinary delights in the archipelago. In addition to making food delicious and more flavorful, the leaves of these natural spices also have a number of benefits that are good for our health. That's it.


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