Alpinia galangal (also Languas galangal) is a plant in the ginger family, is an herb used in cooking, especially in Indonesian cuisine and Thai cuisine. It is one of four plants known as galangal, and is differentiated from the others with the common name greater galangal (or simply Thai galangal). The galangals are also called blue ginger or Thai ginger. Lesser galangal (kencur) is native to China, growing mainly on the southeast coast.
Greater galangal is native to Java. It is widely used in Indonesia and Malaysia as a food flavouring and spice. Greater Galangal is called Laos in Indonesian and is the most common form of galangal used in cooking. It is also known as Langkwas and galangal root. The plant grows from rhizomes in clumps of stiff stalks up to two meters in height with abundant long leaves which bears red fruit
Culinary uses :
The rhizome is a common ingredient in Thai soups and curries, where is used fresh in chunks or thin slices, mashed and mixed into curry paste, or dried and powdered.
Medicinal uses :
The rhizome has been shown to have ant malarial activity in mice
It is used against nausea, flatulence, dyspepsia, rheumatism, catarrh and enteritis.
Pungent but less so than lesser galangal.
It smells gingery and camphorous.
Other names :
Galanga, Galengale, Galingale, Garingal Big Galangal, Galangal Major, Java Galangal, Kaempferia, Siamese Ginger.
Lesser galangal/ kencur:
Aromatic Ginger, China Root, Chinese Ginger, Colic Root, East Indian Catarrh Root, East Indian Root, Gargaut, India Root, Siamese Ginger