Tej Patta tree, Bangalore
Two spices from the same tree!
I was delighted to find a Tej patta tree, well, quite a few of them, planted at the Art of Living Bangalore ashram. The leaves are a spice called tej patta. The bark of the same tree is a spice called cinnamon. (The real cinnamon tree is different.)
Garam masala recipe
The tej patta leaves and bark are coarsely ground with spices like cumin, pepper, cloves, coriander seeds, black cardamom, nutmeg and mace to form the famous Punjabi garam masala powder. This garam masala is used in most North Indian curries and rice preparations like Pulao, Rajma, Vadi-Aloo, Dal-makhani and Chole. This tree is found naturally in the Himalayas.