Greater galangal(Alpinia galanga) is a close relative of ginger, turmeric, and cardamom known by many names across India. The same holds true across all of Asia. It known as Kulanjan in Hindi, Aratta in Malayalam, Dhumarashmi in Kannada, and Perarattai in Tamil. Oft referred to as Thai ginger, it is a staple of Thai curries, but its is used all throughout South Asia. Greater Galangal is now cultivated all across South East Asia including India, Bangladesh, China, and Surinam.
Taste: Rhizomes have peppery and citrusy notes. Greater galangal in contrast to Lesser galangal has a milder flavor and is commonly found in Indonesia and Malayasia. In contrast to ginger, galangal is pepperier and sharper in flavor. Despite their slight differences, ginger and galangal can be used as substitutes to each other to give a slightly different twist to your usual reperatoire of dishes.
Other uses: Galangal use can be found in many schools of ancient medicine. In Indian Ayurveda, the leaf, root, and juice are all utilized for various healing tonics. This is not surprising as Galangal is known to be loaded with beneficial vitamins and minerals. Despite being used primarily for consumption, Greater galangal plants also display some fairly prominent flowers with a nice fragrance as well!
Basic Care :Galangal plants like full sun, but should be moved to partial shade when temperatures exceed 90 degrees. It is best to keep the soil moist, but it is very important to use a well draining soil to prevent root rot. Fertilizer applicaton can be done periodically with a balanced fertilizer.