Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Time to Harvest Some Galangal!
It has taken just about 2 years for my Galangal (Alpinia galanga) plant to grow just under 3 feet, and produce enough rhizomes so that I can cut a piece to use in my cooking. The rhizome, when sliced is that odd, round, firm piece that you find floating in a true Thai Curry dish. It looks a lot like a chunk of ginger root. It is also an ingredient in curry paste, there is no substitute for it in a recipe.
Here it is in flower, I didn't notice a fragrance to the flower but the leaves have a mildly aromatic scent. Galangal is a type of ginger and the flower does look similar to a ginger plant that I am growing. You cut a piece of the rhizome once it begins to flower or just as it buds. I wanted to wait for the flower to appear since I had not seen one before. It is spectacular, although small and does not last long; might be the heat we have here. In Southeast Asia this plant can be grown in the sun but I didn't want to chance that and have planted it where it receives shade most of the day. It does get filtered sun from the tree overhead and a bit shines on it very late in the afternoon. We also don't have the humidity found in its homeland, notice the tips are brown, probably from the lack thereof.
Here is what it looked like when I bought it on June 3, 2012; the one in the center with only one rhizome shooting up. Now I am off to find a very special Vegetable Curry Recipe!!