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Friday, September 26, 2014

GALANGA WITH 13TH C RECIPE FOR CHICKEN IN FLATBREAD

Dried Galanga
Photo by: Lord-Williams
OCast garingal, galanjal garangal, garanjal, L. Alpina galanga (greater galangal) and Kaempheria galangal or Alpinia officinarum (lesser galangal), Fr. galanga de l’Inde, gran galanga or galanga, Eng. galingale, galangal, greater galangal, alpinia galangal, Laos ginger, Siamese ginger, Thai ginger, lesser galangal. The rhizome is harder than ginger and creamy white with a mildly hot, ginger-peppery, resinous flavor that is used as a seasoning. This originated in Java or China where it grows on the southeast coast and spread west to southeastern Asia, namely Malaysia, Indonesia and parts of India.

Today it is popular in Thai cooking and can be purchased at oriental shops. Lesser galangale, Kaempheria galanga, is smaller and has a reddish-orangey flesh outside and almost white inside. It has organic flesh and is stronger, hotter and more resinous flavor than greater galangal. It is not as bitter and has fewer medicinal properties. Both galangales have been imported to Europe.

 Ibn Khurdadbah, an early Arab writer from Sindh, recorded the first shipment in 869, where, like ginger, the rhizomes were incorporated into cookery to flavor a wide variety of sauces, stews, soups and medicines. As fresh galangale is good for six months only, it came to Europe dried. Today it is frozen.

Galangale mixes well with garlic, fennel, ginger and turmeric. It tastes like ginger with a hint of cinnamon. When none is available ginger is used but there is no real substitute for it.

Making a Lid with Pita Bread
Photo by: Lord-Williams
During the Middle Ages, it was frequently used in cooking and mixed with spikenard and other spices for meat gelatins. Nola added it to a majority of fish dishes.

It is called for in medieval English manuscripts. Like ginger, lesser galangal is bruised, crushed or ground into powder. As it is quite tough it is soaked in wine before grinding.

Today coffee grinders are used. The flowers are eaten pickled or raw.

Medicinally, both have been used for seasickness, catarrh, stomach problems and rheumatism. Indians have used galangal as a deodorant. Both galangales were used for halitosis and as an aphrodisiac in Asia and Europe. Essence d’Amali, an essential oil, is extracted from the rhizome for use in perfumery. Arabs gave galangale to their horses to “ginger” them up. See juncia olorosa [ES: Carroll-Mann. Guisados 2-art. Jun 6, 01:ftn 36; ES: “Food Dict.” Dec 7, 03; ES: Forme of Cury. Feb 16, 05; ES: Stefan’s “galangale”. Jul 24, 06; Lladonosa. Cocina. 1984:157; Nola. 1989:xxii-2; and Nola/Iranzo. 1982:168; and Nola/Pérez. 1992:198]

CHICKEN IN FLATBREAD ADAPTED FROM HUICI’S TRANSLATION OF AL-ANDALUS #58. THE RECIPE OF IBN AL-MAHDI'S MAGHMÛM, p 44 [1]

Ingredients

1 chicken
4 oz sweet olive oil
¾ tsp coriander
3/8 tsp  dirham white pepper
3/8 tsp cinnamon
3/16 tsp ginger
3/16 tsp ganingale
3/16 tsp lavender
3/16 tsp cloves
3 oz vinegar
2 oz onion juice
1 oz cilantro juice
1 oz murri[2]
1 splash of rosewater
2-3 pieces of flatbread (pita today)


 Most Remarkably Delicious
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Preparation

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350ºF/180ºC 


Selecta a fat hen. Debone it and cut the meat into bite size pieces.  Heat a pot. Add olive oil. Add chicken and seal the pieces. Add the remaining ingredients. Mix well and pour this into an oven-proof dish. Make a lid by covering it with pita bread. Cook 30-45 minutes
until cooked.

Remove and let sit 15-20 minutes. Then invert it onto a dish and present it; it is remarkable.



[1] Ibrahim ibn al-Mahdi, an Abbasid prince, who was anti-Caliph for some months, and whose hospitality and culinary expertise made him famous. Al-Bagdadi gives his name to this dish and calls it Ibrahimiya. (Huici)

[2] See blog published August 25 2011 titled almorí for recipe.

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