24 September 2011

galangal happiness

Proof that a little love and nurturing is a just adequate substitute for tropical heat and humidity - I present to you: galangal, grown in Cape Town, 34 degrees south of the equator.

Lunch today: Tom Kha Gai. Just like I remember. The slices of fragrant and earthy galangal really are essential. Good thing I also have Makrut growing.

Sorry national braai day, I'm a bad South African, the wors and tjops will have to wait for another day.

For anyone looking for real Thai techniques and recipes, I highly recommend Oi Cheepchaiissara's Food of Thailand (ISBN 978 1 74045 473 5). Available from Exclusive Books in South Africa or from Amazon.com. It doesn't make any compromises with regard to ingredients available in the west, but at least you've got a decent idea of what you should be aiming at.


  1. Very interesting. How long till the tubers were big enough?

  2. Well I started with one teeeeny little piece at the end of 2007. It took about 2 years to figure out that it was in a different hemisphere before it took off, and finally this year I've got 10-15 hand sized rhizomes (I have't excavated another pot yet). I'm counting on it at least multiplying by 4-5x every year now.

    The bits in the first pic cam from a single rhizome cutting planted in a 50cm diameter pot last year.

  3. When will you be offering teeny bits for others to grow? Have you tried growing Curcuma? I have just put a piece of tuber in a pot.

  4. Hi HerbRealm. Yes, had turmeric (Cucurma longa) growing for a few years already. I even came across locally grown fresh turmeric rhizomes for sale at the Tokai food market a few weeks ago (http://www.mothercityliving.co.za/new-food-market-for-tokai).
    Turmeric does pretty well here, both in big pots and in veg garden, although it would be more productive in a subtropical or tropical climate.


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  6. Hello,
    How exciting to find your webpage
    I love in Mpumalanga where it is Hot. I have just returned from Thailand where I visited a demonstration garden and I am very inspired to find planting material of galangal, tumeric and ginseng and create my own Thai corner. My son lives in Cape Town and so I could get planting material via him. Are you able to help me source SE Asian plants or would you be able to spare some planting material?

    1. Hi JudyP. I'm sure we can make a plan, especially if you have something to trade. Please contact me via the contact link at top left (http://www.greenlimabeans.com/p/email.html).