Surprisingly I have had several emails about a spice I use called ‘Kholengan’. Now this is a new one to me as well but one I have passionately fell in love with to say the least. My mother in law (a Saudi) introduced this spice to me and was nice enough to even give me a large supply. This most definitely is something that I never saw once in the states and we moved around a lot.

This foreign spice looks like a piece of ginger made of wood.

I have researched and researched and never found anything until I happened to look into a old Saudi cookbook that I have and the author not only calls the spice ‘kholengan’ but also its original name which is ‘galanqa’ bing we hit the jack pot! After finding that name I was able to research and find the below information. When I smell the spice, it reminds me of a very strong clove smell, almost menthol if you will. The taste well I can not pinpoint it to be able to tell you what to substitute it with as it is so exotic but it gives the food an astonishing taste. If you do not have it do not worry your dish will be fine without it.


4 Comments on Kholengan

  1. Anonymous
    01/06/2012 at 1:49 pm (410 days ago)

    well done;

    just in case if any malaysian friends who did a google to find how to make chicken mandy and stumble and this page..(oh what kholengan is?)

    we call it ‘lengkuas’ … :) )

  2. Noor
    01/06/2012 at 9:19 pm (409 days ago)

    Thanks so much :)

  3. Azra Arzum
    08/22/2012 at 8:22 pm (180 days ago)

    i never expected saudis to use galangal in their cooking. its quite famous in southeast asia (malaysia, indonesia, thailand) especially for ‘tomyam’, a spicy soup which tastes awesome, but i never really expected people from elsewhere in the world to use it… its a really unique, one in a kind spice… heck, if not for my love for tomyam i would never ever go near this spice :) and in malaysia we use it fresh, by the way..

  4. Noor
    08/25/2012 at 8:45 am (178 days ago)

    We have a large south east Asian population here and I always figured that is where Saudis got it from anyway. A lot of them (Indonesians) cook for Saudis after all. Yea the spice is strong :) I never had it fresh but I have been to Malaysia and LOVE IT and your food and that soup lol.


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