Monday I took the opportunity to test out some of my new Christmas presents. The knifes were amazing! And the food processor opens a whole new word of things that can be attempted. First off the mark was a Thai Green Fish Curry from The Kitchen Garden Cookbook.
It also was a chance to try two new ingredients – kaffir lime leaves and galangal. This relates to one of my New Years resolutions but more on that in another post.
The kaffir lime (Citrus × hystrix, Rutaceae) is also known as combava, kieffer lime, limau purut, jeruk purut or makrut lime, Kabuyao (Cabuyao). It is a lime native to India, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, and adjacent countries. It is used in Southeast Asian cuisine.
It is a thorny bush with aromatic and distinctively shaped “double” leaves. The kaffir lime is a rough, bumpy green fruit. The green lime fruit is distinguished by its bumpy exterior and its small size (approx. 4 cm wide).
The rind of the kaffir lime is commonly used in Lao and Thai curry paste, adding an aromatic, astringent flavor.
The leaves can be used fresh or dried, and can be stored frozen. Its hourglass-shaped leaves (comprising the leaf blade plus a flattened, leaf-like leaf-stalk or petiole) are widely used in Thai and Lao cuisine, and Cambodian cuisine. The leaves are used in Indonesian cuisine (especially Balinese cuisine and Javanese cuisine). They are also found in Malaysian and Burmese cuisines.
Galangal (galanga, blue ginger, laos) is a rhizome of plants of the genus Alpinia or Kaempferia in the ginger family Zingiberaceae, with culinary and medicinal uses originated from Indonesia.
It is used in various Asian cuisines. Though it is related to and resembles ginger, there is little similarity in taste.
In its raw form, galangal has a citrusy, piney, earthy aroma, with hints of cedar and soap (saponins) in the flavor; its flavor is a complement to its relative ginger, but galangal has little of the peppery heat that raw ginger has. It is available as a whole rhizome, cut or powdered. The whole fresh rhizome is very hard, and slicing it requires a sharp knife.
The word galangal, or its variant galanga, in common usage can refer to four plant species all in the Zingiberaceae (ginger family):
· Alpinia galanga or greater galangal
· Alpinia officinarum or lesser galangal
· Kaempferia galanga, also called kencur, aromatic ginger or sand ginger
· Boesenbergia pandurata, also called Chinese ginger or fingerroot
The finish product was delicious! There will definitely be a repeat soon. If only because I have extra lemongrass and galangal to use up.