Turmeric and Galangal

Just two of my favourite things….. for cooking with, I’ll see how much I like to grow them as the season progresses.

Turmeric

Back in November I bought a few pieces of Turmeric from a local healthfood store. These roots (actually rhizomes) were grown in Brazil and have a dark brown skin on them, and when peeled reveal a dark orange coloured flesh. Well we tried one out – if I remember right it was a curry and some lemon rice and I added some grated fresh turmeric to the rice while it was cooking. It gave it a classic yellow/orange colour but using the fresh gave it a “turmeric” taste – mild, but there non the less.

Anyway I decided for fun to try and grow some from the remaining roots, so I left them in a bowl in our kitchen for nearly 2 months (we were away a lot around that time), and eventually I noticed that the roots were starting to send out shoots. I planted them with the shoot tips just showing above the compost (a mix of standard potting compost and horticultural sand), put them on a sunny windowsill and left them to it.

Turmeric
Turmeric

A couple of weeks back  shoots started emerging, and this week the first leaves have started to show. They are still indoors in the original 5″ pots. I’ll move them on outside sometime in May when I know that all danger of frost has gone, although the garden is very sheltered and rarely gets a heavy frost, I feel I should treat these plants with a bit more TLC than normally.

Galangal

To the uninitiated Galangal gives you that special flavour found in SE Aisian food – think of  Thai or Indonesian food and many of the dishes have the gentle flavouring of Galangal. The description of it growing into a lush tropical plant with fragrant white flowers also tempted me, as I’ll plant them out in the garden alongside the Cannas

Galangal
Fresh Galangal

Most of the info I’ve found on Galangal and growing it has been US based, and has a few gaps in it – like which way up to plant them! Anyway I bought 4 peices of Galangal – it was very fresh, with nice firm skin. I’ve planted them shallowly in individual pots in a mixture of potting compost and horticultural sand. They are now sitting on the Welsh Dresser which is in a very sunny room. I’ve given them a bit of water to stop the compost mix drying out, but other than that I’ll leave them to it.

The best info I did find on the web were the following – Greenharvest , Thai food and travel and the best one (I think) Urban harvest

and before it gets too serious around here, I’m filing these under my “fun to grow” categories

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