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Torch ginger


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I wonder if anyone has any experience of torch ginger.

The buds are widely used in Malaysian cuisine, but in Indonesia they also use the seed pods to make sayur asam.

Here is a picture of the seed pods

http://www.viveroanones.com/vawebsite/Phot...y%20GINGERS.htm

(bottom left, 'Red Torch seed pod')

Those pictured are rotten, except for maybe the ones at the bottom. When sold in the markets of North Sumatra they would be firm and fresh.

They are bruised and split and the seeds use to impart a delicious sour flavour to fish and chicken dishes.

I can found no record of the seed pods being used anywhere else other than North Sumatra, and wonder if anyone can comment.

I would also quite like to grow the plant, but I guess indoor cultivation would not be practical to achieve any viable yield.

Edited by thelawnet (log)
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This seems to be used in dishes from Malaysia and Thailand also, where it is "bunga kantan" and "kaalaa" respectively.

I got more useful hits searching on "Bunga Kantan" than I did googling "Torch Ginger". Chowhound even has a thread on this:

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/358353

4 recipes using Torch Ginger:

http://www.paradasia.com/2_Recipies_main.htm

Edited by Batard (log)

"There's nothing like a pork belly to steady the nerves."

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This seems to be used in dishes from Malaysia and Thailand also, where it is "bunga kantan" and "kaalaa" respectively.

It is the BUD that is used in those countries, and is reasonably well documented outline.

Picture of the bud at left here - which is somewhat prevelant in Oriental shops in the West

http://home1.pacific.net.sg/~ccchia/pict20.html

I am more interested in the seed pod, which as far as I can see is not documented in any source at all, despite being part of the cuisine of at least a million people, and the seeds being very tasty, it seems odd to me that all these people in Malaysia and Thailand do n ot use it.

I guess it has perhaps not occurred to them, but it seems a slightly trivial piece of experimentation of throwing the fruit in the pot - compared with my recent trip to Grenada, where the lovely smell of the fleshy nutmeg carapace makes it unsurprising that it is used to make jam, but equally unsurprising that has only been done relatively recently, given the greater effort required to make jam from shells as against adding seeds to cooking

Edited by thelawnet (log)
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