Thippili / Indian Long PepperJanuary 9, 2023 2023-01-22 22:40
Thippili / Indian Long Pepper
Thippili, or Piper longum, is endemic to India. If you thought that Tomatoes, Peanuts, Chilies and Potatoes were Indian, you would be surprised to know that they all came from South America in the 17th century. Thippili on the other hand is an ancient Indian plant and its relevance in Ayurveda is quite significant. It is also referred to as Pippali, and is a common ingredient in many medicines.
Thippili detoxifies the body and stimulates the ‘Agni’, which is the digestive fire. There is a famous medical preparation called ‘Sukku Milagu Thippili’, a powdered mixture of black pepper, dried Piper longum fruits, and dry ginger in equal proportions. Also called Thirikadugam, it is used to make a ‘kashayam’ (medicinal brew) for healing a variety of ailments ranging from common cold and cough, lethargy, headaches, body pain, indigestion, ulcers, flatulence, constipation, lack of appetite, and chronic lung problems.
At Solitude Cafe, we use Thippili in many ways – we dice it and add it to salad dressings; we add it into the cooked food; and we make a Rasam with it.
What is interesting is that the leaves of the plant can also be used. They taste a bit like betel leaf, only slightly more peppery. Cut up the leaves really small and sprinkle them on a dish like you would coriander. Adding it into a salad can introduce an earthy flavor to it.
To plant Thippili, simply break off a piece of the vine, and plug it into the ground, and it will start taking root. It is extremely easy to grow! One of the supreme values of this plant is that it grows in the full shade, where nearly nothing else will grow! This makes it quite a crucial addition on our Road back to Nature.