Friday, April 8, 2016

G is for Galangal

G is for Galangal

Galangal is a root from the ginger family that looks a bit like a knobbly Jerusalem artichoke. It is widely used in South-East Asian cuisine, particularly Thai cookery and is an important ingredient in Thai curry pastes. It can be bought as fresh root, dried root or dried, ground powder. I have never personally used it although I know many of my friends have done so. I understand it tastes like a milder form of ginger and is not as all pervasive in flavour as this pungent relative although personally I love  the taste of ginger.


Thai Massaman Chicken Curry

From: The Hairy Bikers

For the massaman curry paste

6 cardamom pods, seeds only
1 tsp cumin seeds
5 cloves
1 ½ star anise
1 tsp whole white peppercorns
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp dried chilli flakes
2 Tbs groundnut oil
1 oz  peanuts
5 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
5 lime leaves, finely sliced
1 1/2 in piece fresh galangal, peeled and roughly chopped
2 sticks lemongrass, outer leaves removed, inner core finely chopped
1 tsp shrimp paste
2 Tbs fish sauce
½ tsp grated or ground nutmeg
2 Tbs palm sugar
2 Tbs cold water

For the chicken curry

2 Tbs vegetable oil
2 red onions, sliced
500 grams chicken breast, cut into 1.5cm/ ½in strips
1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1.5cm/ ½in cubes
2 bird’s-eye red chillies, cut almost in half lengthways (or more, to taste)
9 fl oz good-quality chicken stock, preferably homemade
7 fl oz coconut milk
2 tomatoes, skins removed, flesh roughly chopped
6 lime leaves
2 Tbs fish sauce
1 ½ Tbs palm sugar
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 lime, juice only
small handful sweet Thai basil (or normal basil), plus extra sprigs to serve
1 oz roasted peanuts, roughly chopped

To serve

steamed sticky rice
1 large red chilli, sliced diagonally

1. For the massaman curry paste, heat a small frying pan over a medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the cardamom seeds, cumin seeds and cloves and dry-fry for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.

2. Transfer the spices to a spice grinder or pestle and mortar and grind to a powder.

3. Blend the ground spices with all of the remaining massaman curry paste ingredients in a food processor, until smooth and well combined. (Alternatively, pound the paste until smooth in a pestle and mortar.) Chill until needed, covered.

4. To make the chicken curry, heat the oil in a medium-sized, flameproof, lidded casserole. Add the onions and fry for 8-10 minutes, or until softened and light golden-brown.

5. Increase the heat, push the onions to one side of the casserole, then add the chicken strips to the other side and fry for 2-3 minutes on all sides, or until sealed all over.

6. Add half of the massaman curry paste to the casserole (see tip). Stir well to coat the chicken and onions in the paste. Fry the mixture for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.

7. Add the potatoes, chillies, chicken stock, coconut milk, tomatoes, lime leaves, fish sauce, palm sugar and soy sauce to the casserole. Stir well and bring the mixture to the boil, then cover the casserole with the lid and reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering. Continue to simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through (do not overcook the chicken as it will become dry). Season, to taste, with a little more fish sauce or some lime juice.

8. Just before serving, stir in the basil leaves and half of the peanuts.

9. To serve, spoon the Thai massaman curry into bowls and garnish with the extra Thai basil leaves, the sliced red chilli, and the remaining peanuts. Serve with steamed sticky rice.

Servings: 6

Have a great day

 

44 comments:

  1. I love a good Thai curry (green is my favorite) and I'm no stranger to galangal. Unlike you I actually don't care for ginger but I do like galangal because, as mentioned, it's a lot more subtle. It's really hard to get here, though... so I usually have to settle for the pre-made paste.

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    1. That's a pity Bryan as the results are not as pleasing are they? We have used the paste too doesn't give the same brilliant colour sadly.

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  2. I'd have to use ginger instead since I don't believe I could find that root here.

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    1. I don't know Diane, I would have thought Food Lion would carry it. Winn Dixie's would have but they disappeared altogether didn't they?

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  3. I've never used fresh root for anything...I always buy the powdered spices.

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    1. The fresh ones make such a difference JoJo. Ginger can be stored in the freezer for ever. I just peel the root and put it in a plastic bag and in the freezer.

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  4. I'm not a fan of curry because I'm a heat weenie. A little black pepper seems hot to me, but several of my friends love curry. I'm going to post your blog so they can enjoy your recipe!

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    1. You can get mild curries Scarlett. In fact there are places in India where they never eat hot curries at all.

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  5. I've seen this in the store but had no idea what it was. I'm not sure we would try it or the recipe; recipe sounds delicious but a little complicated for my 30 minutes or less in the kitchen :)

    betty

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    1. Now you know Betty. 30 mins or less eh? You know what they say, Good cooking takes time. A restaurant we used to go to in the UK had that sign up on the wall.

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  6. This looks good! A friend is always encouraging my to try Thai food but I am afraid of the heat. My stomach won't allow it. Ginger, on the other hand I use to make a refreshing drink , we call it 'ginger beer'. Very refreshing. I enjoyed this post:)

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    1. Not all of it is hot but, yes, it is known for it's heat Jazzy. We came across a beef dish once which was so hot neither of us could eat it.

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  7. Ah...mouthwatering. I love mussaman curry!

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    1. Thai and curry, where could you go wrong Stephanie?

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  8. I recognize that as ginger. We juice with it. Powerful stuff and a little goes a long way.

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    1. It's not the same though Stephen, much more delicate in taste - not nearly as strong or hot.

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  9. I actually never heard of this one. I like ginger too.

    Susan Says

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    1. This is a lot milder than ginger though Susan.

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  10. Replies
    1. Thai curries are delicious Cynthia whether green or red.

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  11. I have always had trouble eating curry, not sure why. That dish does look tasty, though.

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    1. Being a Brit, we were almost brought up on curry Tami. Pity you have trouble because it is delicious.

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  12. Love ginger. Another interesting alien form. LOL Watching Farscape has stretched my imagination. LOL

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    1. All of these tastes coming from Asia are so delicious and mostly good for us Yolanda. I don't honestly think your imagination needs stretching.

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  13. I ate Chicken Currey today, of course it was heated up and ready to eat. But all in all I enjoyed the meal but it was hot and real. I believe the apple made all the difference to the taste of the curry and I hughly recommend it.

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    1. Apple, that's different Spacerguy. Love curry.

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  14. They also (here anyway), call it Thai ginger and I love it. I get it raw (when available) and use it in dressing, tea, anything really. Great taste.

    Happy Weekend.

    PS: I'll be back to catch up with the rest of your blog this weekend.

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    1. Thai Ginger - never heard of that before Ivy. Great way to use it.

      Thanks, I appreciate it.

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    2. Also by the name you have, the sign reads both. These days, signs I find (in my area), read more than one way to know the item. Which is helpful.

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    3. Ivy, our store has a book in the produce department where you can look up any fruit or vegetable they sell. Very useful

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    4. That is pretty cool. I like that.

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    5. Yes, it's very useful Ivy

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    6. They had more at the market yesterday so I got more. I love to make dressings from it. But this time, I want to try it in my rice.

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    7. That should taste pretty good Ivy.

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  15. I've never used it but as part of a study course on the Middle Ages I was reading a recipe book of the time yesterday and it figured in some of the recipes.

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    1. Nor me Helen, I didn't know it was known in the Middle Ages. Thought it was pretty recent in Europe.

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  17. This sounds good and I like ginger as well.

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  18. Actually, I just bought some galangal. It grows in Hawaii, though I've never seen it raw or been able to obtain it. It's used in Thai cooking and I was warned by the farmer who grew it that it is actually MORE intense than ginger but I haven't tried it yet. Maui Jungalow

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    1. I've never actually used galangal myself Courtney but have many friends who do so. I don't do much Thai cooking unfortunately.

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