Indian bay leaves (tejpat or tejpata) are the leaves of a tree (Cinnamomum tamala) which is a close relative to cinnamon and cassia; all are members of the laurel family, as is the western bay leaf. Indian bay leaves closely resemble western bay leaves, being dark, tough, and veined, but the flavour is quite distinct, reminiscent of cinnamon. So if you can't find Indian bay leaves, try substituting a small piece of cinnamon bark or, should you be so lucky as to have a cinnamon tree, cinnamon leaves. Ideally they should be fresh, but that may be hard to find; as with any aromatic, the dried version will be but a pale shadow. If you do find fresh, freeze the remainder to best maintain their flavour and aroma.
Indian bay leaves are most used in Northern Indian cuisine, particularly Mughal food, where they often figure in biriyanis and kormas; they are also a component of the Northern version of garam masala. Unlike the rest of India, northern food uses less chili and more sweet and aromatic spices such as cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, , and black cumin (a different spice than cumin). And, of course, Indian bay leaves.