When you are looking for an exciting new addition to your spice cabinet, you may find long pepper, a spice native to India. While it is often confused with the chili pepper family, it is closely related to the plant that produces black pepper. In Indian grocery stores, long pepper is easily available and is called “pippali.”
The flavor of the long pepper is more complex than that of the black pepper. Spice experts have compared the taste to popular Indian spice blends like garam masala. The pepper has a longer finish on the palate, and the flavor reminds some people of tobacco.
This beneficial ingredient is not well-known in the United States, but its culinary and health applications shouldn’t be overlooked. Here are 10 fantastic ways to use the long pepper in cooking as well as for your health.
11 Amazing Ways to Use Long Pepper
1. This Special Pepper Fights Cancer
The active ingredient in this pepper, piperlongumine or PL, has been shown to fight against many different types of cancers. Prostate, lung, and breast cancers are among those affected. Long pepper benefits are exciting for people with cancer and other chronic illnesses.
2. This Amazing Pepper is a Traditional Medicine
In India, this pepper is used in Ayurvedic medicine. Scientific studies are beginning to show long pepper benefits in a serious light.
3. Use it in Curry Dishes
This delicious pepper is a perfect ingredient for use in curry dishes. It is especially good with red meat curry dishes, such as those in Indonesian and Thai cuisine. It is also great with savory vegetables. When you use this pepper in your curry, you will achieve an authentic flavor that isn’t possible with supermarket blends.
4. This Pepper Encourages Weight Loss
Along with its other fantastic qualities, long pepper benefits a healthy body while helping with weight loss. It helps the body to burn fat and metabolize food.
5. Spice Up your Love Life
This pepper is also considered a traditional aphrodisiac in Indian culture. Its properties are listed in the Kama Sutra. Consuming this pepper may bring you happiness in the bedroom as well as in the kitchen.
6. Use it to Fight Diabetes
While this pepper isn’t a cure-all, it has documented benefits for diabetics. It helps to regulate blood glucose and to encourage insulin production.
7. Good for Stomach Ailments
While too much long pepper may cause stomach upset, using it in moderation may help with many types of digestive ailments. Diarrhea, constipation, and even infectious digestive diseases like cholera may be eased with this pepper.
8. Make Delicious Tea
One-half tablespoon of this pepper can be combined with cardamom seeds, 6 cinnamon sticks, and 4 slices of fresh ginger. Simmer these ingredients in 2 quarts of water for 30 minutes. Strain the tea and add milk and honey to taste. This preparation is the famous “yogi tea.” It is an easy way to incorporate the benefits of this pepper in your daily diet.
9. Traditionally Used for Allergies
In Ayurvedic medicine, this pepper is used to help with springtime allergies. It can help with sniffling, sneezing, and mucus production. Spicy foods in general are good for congestion and sinus problems.
10. Substitute for Black Pepper
This pepper can be used anywhere you would normally use black pepper. It provides a special flavor that will stand out in your everyday dishes. Unlike black pepper, it is tricky to grind. Try using a mortar and pestle, food processor, or microplane grater. You will find success with any of these methods.
11. Good for Menstrual Problems
This pepper is also great for menstrual problems such as cramps. Drink the “yogi tea” whenever you are having difficulties.
While this spice may be obscure, it has a host of exciting benefits for the entire body. Medical studies are beginning to show that this pepper has clear and documented uses for diabetes, weight loss, cancer, seasonal allergies, and menstrual difficulties. Add this incredible superfood to your diet and reap the benefits of this traditional Indian ingredient.