There are two types of tubers and you’d think they might be alike, but no, they are a horticultural Laurel and Hardy.

Stem tubers, like spuds, will grow away even if you plant just a small, skinny, eye-bearing eye fragment of skin. And then there’s root tubers such as dahlias, which, no matter how plumptious and fecund they look, will not root unless they are attached to a piece of root base that carries an adventitious bud on it.

The other night, armed with this knowledge, I used the left-over, detached, fragments of lesser galangal plantings to cook with. After all they wouldn’t grow into anything.

True I only had a couple of skinny bits left, and once sliced they looked like snippings from slightly portly twigs more than anything edible, but I was willing to give them a go and bung them in a stir-fry. After all it’s related to ginger so surely these meagre scratchings wouldn’t be a dead loss?

They immediately released a rather perfumey fragrance when tossed into the sizzling mix. Unusual, but not unpleasant, the smell continued and might have given the dish a flavour of its own had it not been nuked into the background by the healthy dose of chilli I’d strewn across the pan.

Next time I cook with it I’ll do something more suble to see if it impacts on the tongue as much as it does the nose.

Meanwhile I am trying to run down viable propagation material for:

Cardamom – Eletheria cardamomum

Japanese ginger – Zingiber miogi

Pandan – Pandanus amaryllifolius

Shado beni – Eryngium foetidum

Curry leaves – Murraya koenigii

They are intended for the office allotment, but I might even cook with some of them.