Spice of the Week: Galangal

Galangal, from the Alpinia galangal plant, is this week’s spice selection from the Biodiversity Library Exhibition.

While galangal is part of the medicine “Swedish drops”, women better look out. It is known to induce premature menstruation or abortion. Still, it is an essential ingredient in curry, and therefore is part of many local cuisines around the world. Its substances were once considered euphoria-inducing and aphrodisiac. For more info on galangal’s history and origins, and for a great recipe, go visit the Biodiversity Library Exhibition’s pages on this fascinating spice!

Alternate recipe: Southern Asian chicken

8 chicken thighs
2 dl oil
6 cloves crushed garlic
1 tablespoon ground pepper
2 tablespoons ground galangal
½ teaspoon salt

In a bowl mix garlic, pepper, galangal and salt. Spread the mixture onto chicken thighs, place in bowl, cover and allow to marinate 3-4 hours in refrigerator. Pour oil to about 5 cm deep in a pot and heat. Fry thighs in oil until thoroughly cooked, to a golden-brown color. Serve with rice.

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