Some of the important pepper type spices include black pepper, chabika, chillies and many others. They are described below;
Black pepper is considered as the ‘King of Spices’ amongst the pepper type spices. In addition to black pepper, pepper is also sold in the processed forms like white pepper and green pepper.
White and black peppers are prepared from the berries of the same plant or species. The only difference is that for preparing black pepper, spikes are harvested when berries are fully mature, but unripe, i.e. when green or greenish yellow, but for preparing white pepper, the harvesting of berries is delayed until they become ripe i.e. yellowish red or red.
Long Pepper is used as pepper type spices and also in pickles and preserves. They have a pungent pepper like taste and produce salivation and numbness of the mouth. In Jharkhand, the root is used to ferment rice beer. In Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the leaves are chewed like betel leaves. Indian long pepper is mostly derived from the wild plants, the main sources of supply being Assam, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh including Uttarakhand.
Chabika is a wild grown creeper found almost all over India, belonging to the family of pepper type spices. In West Bengal and North Eastern India, it is added to food items for the purpose of adding flavour.
Chillies are the ripe fruit of the species of ‘Genus Capsicum’. It is consumed in fresh, dried and powdered in the form. It is virtually one of the indispensable pepper type spices in the kitchen. The varieties of chillies are broadly divided into two groups namely; the long pungent type, including the pickling type, used as spice, and the bell shaped, non-pungent or mild, and thick fleshed type, popularly known as ‘Simla Mirch’ which is commonly used as a curried vegetable. Paprika also belongs to the pepper type spices group.
Pepper type spices are one of the most common spices, found on nearly every table. The variety of pepper type spices available on the market is very wide.