Bay leaves can also be crushed (or ground) before cooking. Crushed bay leaves impart more of their desired fragrance than whole leaves, and there is less chance of biting into a leaf directly.
In China, the pods are used for long-braised meat dishes, particularly in the cuisine of the central-western province of Sichuan.
The pods are also often used in Vietnam, they are used as an ingredient in the broth for noodle soup.
Black cardamom pods can be used in soups, chowders, casseroles, and marinades for smoky flavor, much in the way bacon is used.
Black cardamom is often erroneously described as an inferior substitute for green cardamom by those who are unfamiliar with the spice. Although the flavor differs from the more common green cardamom, black cardamom is sometimes used by large-scale commercial bakers because of its relative cheapness.
As well as in its native range, it is also grown in Nepal, Vietnam, Thailand, and Central America. In India, the states of Sikkim and Kerala are the main producers of cardamom; they rank highest both in cultivated area and in production. It was first imported into Europe c.1200 CE
Cumin can be used to season many dishes, as it draws out their natural sweetnesses.
Cumin seeds are often ground up before being added to dishes.
Cumin seeds are also often "toasted" by being heated in an ungreased frying pan to help release their essential oils.