Dried Indian wood leaves are dark brown in color and have a stiff, brittle texture. They have a strong, spicy odor, with notes of clove, cinnamon and nutmeg.
These leaves are widely used in Caribbean and Latin American cuisine, especially in soups, stews, marinades and sauces. They are often added whole or crushed to give a unique flavor to dishes.
Some famous recipes that use Indian wood leaves are Jamaican jerk chicken, Cuban red bean rice (congri), Trinidadian oxtail stew and West Indian pea soup.
In addition to their culinary use, Indian wood leaves also have medicinal properties. They have been used traditionally to relieve joint pain and reduce inflammation. Studies have also shown that they have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.
To use dried Indian wood leaves, they can be added directly to dishes while cooking or crushed slightly before adding to release more flavor. It is important to remove the Indian wood leaves before serving the dish as they have a tough texture that is not pleasant to eat.
Dried Indian wood leaves can also be used to flavor arranged rums. India wood is in fact a common ingredient used in the making of arranged rums in the Caribbean.
Here are a few recipes of arranged rums which use dried leaves of India wood:
India Wood and Vanilla Rum Mixture:
In a glass jar, add 1 black Gourmet vanilla bean split in half, 1 tablespoon of cane sugar and 5 dried bois de inde leaves. Pour over 70cl of white agricultural rum and leave to macerate for 1 to 3 months.
Arranged rum bois d'inde and exotic fruits:
In a glass jar, add 1/2 diced pineapple, 1 diced mango, 1 vanilla pod from Comoros XL split in two, 1 tablespoon of cane sugar and 5 dried bois de inde leaves. Pour over 70cl of white agricultural rum and leave to macerate for 1 to 3 months.
Arranged rum bois d'inde and citrus fruits:
In a glass jar, add the zest of 2 oranges, the zest of 2 limes, 1 vanilla pod from Vanuatu split in two, 1 tablespoon of cane sugar and 5 dried bois d'inde leaves. Pour over 70cl of white agricultural rum and leave to macerate for 1 to 3 months.
It is important to note that the maceration time may vary depending on the ingredients used and personal preferences. It is recommended to taste the arranged rum regularly during the maceration and to remove the Indian wood leaves before consuming the arranged rum.