Etymology of Black Pepper
The botanical name of black pepper is ‘Piper nigrum Linn’ belonging to the family of ‘Piperaceae’. The spice, owing to its rich aromatic popularity in Indian kitchens, also is acknowledged by different regional Indian names, like ‘Kali Mirch’ in Hindi; ‘Gol morich’ and ‘Kalo marich’ in Bengali; ‘Kala Mari’ in Gujarati; ‘Kare Menasu’ in Kannada; ‘Marutis’ in Kashmiri; ‘Karumaluku’ and ‘Nallamaluku’ in Malayalam; ‘Kali Mirch’ and ‘Mire’ in Marathi; ‘Gol Maricha’ in Oriya; ‘Kali Mirch’ in Punjabi; ‘Milagu’ in Tamil and ‘Miriyalu’ in Telugu.
Origin of Black Pepper
Black Pepper is a spice of South India and is cultivated expansively and broadly there and elsewhere in the separate tropical regions. Black pepper is also widely cropped and cultured in the Coorg area of Karnataka. There exist umpteen varieties and types of black pepper known in the world trade. These peppers, normally cultivated in port regions other than India, quite naturally, differ slightly in their physical and chemical characteristics, colour, size, shape, flavour, aroma and bite.
Properties of Black Pepper
Black pepper provides manganese, iron and vitamin K, and is a good source of dietary fibre. It also possesses antibacterial, antioxidant, immune-boosting and fever-reducing properties.
Use of Black Pepper in Cuisine
Black Pepper is one such spice that virtually can be utilised in every cooking and culinary medium and preparation. An Indian kitchen is almost void without its uses of black pepper. It is added to almost every savoury dish, hot or cold, imparting a sharp and pungent. Black pepper can be added to almost any savoury dish and it can also be added to sweet biscuits and cakes in order to spice them up and add a twist to the dish.
Use of Black Pepper in Medicine
Black pepper is known to treat and help a number of ailments. The essential oil of black pepper known as Black Pepper Oil is often added to massage blends and applied to aching or painful joints and muscles, whether the pain is sports related or through arthritic or rheumatic pain. Black pepper also plays a major role in the metabolism and the digestion of food and it can help to settle the stomach and relieve gas. Black pepper has been used orally to treat bronchitis, to improve blood circulation and to warm the body.