Used plant part ; Rhizome.
It resembles ginger in shape in that the subunits are flat
(elliptical cross-section), but it is much smaller (5 cm). It has a
dark reddish-brown skin, and the soft interior is nearly white.
Lesser galanga is, in contrast to the popular greater galangale,
hardly known in the West being closely tied to only a few indigenous
cuisines. Actually, it seems to be used mainly by Malayic peoples in
Malaysia and Indonesia (especially, in Jawa and Bali). Its strong
aroma is less pleasant than that of greater galanga, at least in
high concentration or on first contact.
Slices of the dried rhizome may be cooked with vegetable or meat
dishes, but mostly the spice is used fresh and grated or crushed. It
is essential for Jawanese cooking (Rijstafel) . For example, lesser
galangale often flavours the peanut sauce (sambal kacang) made from
ground peanuts, sweet soy sauce (kecap manis), raw spices (chiles,
garlic and lesser galangale) and tamarind water or lime juice.
Sambal kacang is typically served to sate, grilled meat on tiny
skewers, but also goes well with boiled or steamed vegetables.
Even more than in Jawa, lesser galangale is much loved in the
neighbouring island Bali). The most famous dish owing its character
in part to lesser galangale is Balinese roast duck bebek betulu.
wrapping in banana leaves, the duck is first steamed and then
roasted in an oven which makes the meat extraordinarily tender. The
result certainly justifies the effort.