The pungent aromatic rhizome or tuber of certain East Indian or Chinese species of Alpinia (Alpinia Galanga and Alpinia officinarum) and of the Kæmpferia Galanga), -- all of the Ginger family.
Galangal is a member of the ginger family, widely used in south-east Asian cuisine, particularly Thai cookery, being an important component in Thai curry pastes. It is also widely used medicinally as an aid to digestion and for respiratory problems.
Used in Thai dishes, you can find this root (or powder) in good supermarkets or Oriental supermarkets. If you canâ€™t find it, substitute with a little grated fresh ginger â€“ or just leave it out.