Long pepper is a native to India and is used in cooking. Today it is used in European cuisines and has become a very rare ingredient. It grows as catkins on a vine and is freshly ground using a pestle and mortar. The taste of long peppers are pungent and sweeter than normal peppers.
Long peppers have therapeutic properties when it comes to health benefits, similar to other herbs and plants. In ancient India, long peppers were used for the Ayurvedic medicine and it has been discovered that it can also help with diabetes, liver ailments and weight loss. Long peppers may also help to improve the flow of oxygen into the body, stomach aches, headaches, coughs, toothaches and more ailments.
If you have sensitive skin, long peppers can be an irritation, so it’s best to avoid handling them. Also if you are pregnant or lactating, you should also be cautious with the herb as the effects are not well known.
If you are able to come across a few long peppers, these recipes will convince you that it could be a start to one of your favorite spices.
Roast Asparagus with Long Pepper Gremolata (via Serious Eats)
1 bunch (1 pound) asparagus
2 tablespoons oil
1 1/2 teaspoons long pepper, toasted and freshly ground
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander, toasted and freshly ground
4 cloves garlic, minced
Zest of one lemon
Turn on broiler and adjust rack to 4 to 6 inches from heat source. Trim bottom two inches off asparagus, rub with oil, and season well with salt. Arrange in a single layer in an oven-safe skillet or baking sheet.
Broil for two to three minutes, then check on asparagus for signs of light charring and a bright green color. Very thin spears may be finished at this point. Squeeze gently with tongs. If still very firm, return to broiler for another two to three minutes, or until spears bend slightly but break with a snap.
Combine long pepper, coriander, garlic, and lemon zest in a small bowl and mix to combine. Toss with asparagus and serve immediately.
Strawberries with Lime & Long Pepper Syrup (via BBC Good Food)
Long Pepper Ice Cream with Rum Sauce (via HimalaSalt)
Long Pepper and Red Fruits Olive Oil Cookies (via Juls’ Kitchen)
Long Pepper Cream (via The Telegraph)
Which long pepper recipe would you try?