Long pepper (Piper longum), sometimes called Indian long pepper (pipli), is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae , cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning . Long pepper has a taste similar to, but hotter than, that of its close relative piper nigrum from which black, green and white pepper are obtained.
Long pepper also called ‘Indian long pepper’ is a flowering vine. It is a fragrant plant which has soft stem that climbs on other plants or spread on ground. Its branches are thin and hairy. It bears dark green colour leaves which are soft, smooth, glossy, 2-4 inch long and 1-2 inch wide and heart-shaped leaves. It looks similar as the pan leaves. They are alternatively arranged and has pointed tips. The leaves have very prominent veins. It bears flowers which are unisex; consisting of both male and female flowers. As other peppers, the plant bears berries which are long and shapes like elephant trunk. It has same size as a match stick. When unripe the fruit is green and turns light red when ripe and dark dusty when dried. The fruits are also called ‘pippali‘.
Long pepper grows in warm and temperate areas of India. The buds of very plant is usable which is considered as one of the important spices.
- Long pepper is mostly used in the cooking of non-vegetarian items like Biryanis, kababs and many others.
- Long pepper is widely used to prepare vegetable pickles.
- It is widely used in Malaysian and Indonesian cuisines.