A native of Java and the Malay peninsula, this member of the ginger family has a pungency quite unlike of the common ginger. Galangal grows from rhizomes in clumps of stiff stalks up to 2m in height with abundant long leaves that bear red fruit. The red fruit is used in traditional Chinese medicine and has a flavour similar to cardamom.

Galangal is too spicy to be eaten raw , instead it is used in slices, chunks, or pounded to a paste for various curries and side dishes. The rhizome is an important ingredient in SE Asian cuisine such as Malay, Nyonya & Thai dishes.