Photo by Ruth and Dave
Galangal is known as laos in Indonesia, ka or kha in Thailand, and lengkaus in Malaysia. This root is a member of the ginger family and looks like ginger, but ginger may not be substituted for it. Iranian and Southeast Asian cooking take advantage of galangal’s very particular flavor, especially in soups and curries. During the Middle Ages in Europe, it was known as an aphrodisiac. In Thailand, it is still used as a remedy for stomach problems, as well as a flavoring.