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A small piece of Galangal or Thai Ginger can transform the most ordinary dish into a delectable culinary treat. It is for no small reason that Galangal is a very popular spice in all South East Asia and especially typical for the cuisine of Thailand.

Dried Galangal is essentially aromatic and spicy, something in between ginger and cinnamon. Galangal masks the strong odour of fish and so appears frequently in fish and shellfish recipes often with garlic, ginger, chilli and lemon or tamarind. It is often used in stir-fried noodles, fried rice of different varieties, stuffed rolls and soups. The rhizome sold here is actually the Greater Galangal which is a common ingredient in Thai curries and soups.

Well-known Indonesian dishes using dried Galangal are rendang (a spicy meat stew), and nasi goreng (fried rice with vegetables and meat). Although used in the often searingly hot Indonesian cookery, Galangal enhances dishes such as chicken delicately spiced with fennel and lemon grass and gently cooked in coconut milk. Galangal is sometimes confused with other spices of the ginger family; its taste and appearance are, however, characteristic and it cannot be substituted by any other spice.

Galangal is one of the spices which reached Europe relatively early, for it finds mention along with pepper in the literature of the Middle Ages where it receives commendation in various writings.


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