Galangal is a herb like ginger that belongs to the rhizome family. Also known as Thai or blue ginger, it has many medicinal and culinary properties. It has a stronger taste than its cousin, ginger, with a citrusy, earthy aroma. The galangal is available as a whole rut, in cuts or as a powder and is used like a ginger. It pairs very well with fish and shellfish with other spices. It is commonly used in Thai, Vietnamese and Indonesian cuisines. The name is derived from a Chinese word which means ginger.
Greater galangal: As the name suggests, the plant grows up to 2m long with greenish flowered. The rhizomes have ring like structures at intervals.
Lesser galangal: With reddish brown rhizomes, they are much smaller and have a more pungent taste. They have rings similar to the greater galangal.
Kaempferia galangal: Rhizomes have a white interior and a red exterior.
Galangal is an aromatic stimulant which helps in gastric problems. It is used to remedy nausea, rheumatism, flatulence and also as a deodrizer! It improves blood circulation and contains anti-inflammatory properties.
Did you know?
Galangal was used in Europe and Asia as an aphrodisiac. Make sure you clean galangal properly before using since they collect soil and sand.