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ative Photo: Krishan Lal
Common name: Galangal, siamese ginger, Greater Galangal • Hindi: बड़ा कुलंजन Bara kulanjan • Kannada: Dhumarasmi • Malayalam: Chitta-ratta • Manipuri: ꯀꯥꯡꯍꯨ Kang-hu • Marathi: Kosht-kulinjan • Mizo: Ai-chal • Punjabi: ਕੁਲੰਜਣ Kulanjan • Sanskrit: Dhumala, Dhumparastma • Tamil: Akkulati, Anaivacampu • Tangkhul: Hirui • Telugu: Dumparaashtrakamu • Urdu: Khalanjan ﺧﻠﻨﺠﻦ, Qulanjan ﻗﹹﻠﻨﺠﻦ
Botanical name: Alpinia galanga    Family: Zingiberaceae (Ginger family)
Synonyms: Alpinia carnea, Alpinia alba, Alpinia viridiflora

Galangal grows to a height of about 5 feet, the leaves being long, rather narrow blades, and the flowers, of curious formation, growing in a simple, terminal spike, the petals white, with deep-red veining distinguishing the lip-petal. The ranched pieces of rhizome are from 3.5-7.5 cm in length, and seldom more than 2 cm thick. They are cut while fresh, and the pieces are usually cylindrical, marked at short intervals by narrow, whitish, somewhat raised rings, which are the scars left by former leaves. They are dark reddish-brown externally, and the section shows a dark centre surrounded by a wider, paler layer, which be comes darker in drying. Their odour is aromatic, and their taste pungent and spicy. Galangal is a very popular spice in whole South East Asia and especially typical for the cuisine of Thailand. It is also known and used in Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam and Southern China.

Identification credit: Krishan Lal Photographed in Himachal Pradesh & Manipur.

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