A brief article on our Sichuan Peppercorns/ Timur/ Szechuan Pepper grown and harvested in India.
What is Sichuan Peppercorns?
Sichuan peppercorn is a spice originally from the “Sichuan” province of China but now grows abundantly in regions that support the required conditions. In India, it profoundly grows in the Northeastern region of India, in lower Himalayas and some Konkani states like Maharashtra and Kerala.
What does Sichuan Peppercorn taste like?
Unlike black or chili pepper, Sichuan peppercorn is not extremely hot. Instead, it has an earthy taste with lemony after-tones combined with a sense of hot textures. It has a unique aroma, which resembles that of lavender and mint. Sichuan peppercorns create a strangely cool-numbing-buzzing sensation on the tongue – making them one of the most flavorful spices of all times!
Nutrition and benefits of Sichuan Pepper
Sichuan peppercorns are rich in antioxidants. They have been traditionally used to aid digestion and for a healthy gut. Their numbing sensation has found medicinal uses for toothache and stomachache.
In addition to the unique taste that these peppercorns add, they enhance the flavors of other spices – bringing the deliciousness index of the food to 100!
What do they look like?
Sichuan peppercorns look like tiny berries of green or red-brown color with a split-open outer husk and a shiny black seed inside that looks much similar to the black pepper seeds, though shinier than that.
How to use Sichuan Peppercorns?
Strange but true – only the outer husk/shell of Sichuan peppercorns is used as a spice and the inner black seed (which actually looks like the real product) is discarded, as it tastes very gritty and sand-like.
To add Sichuan peppercorns to your dishes, just roast them a little on a pan until they start releasing their aroma, grind/crush them to make a fine or coarse powder and add to your curries. They can also be used whole.
What is the purpose of that useless black seed?
The black pepper-like seed inside Sichuan peppercorns is not useless, as it may seem. These tiny seeds are essential for the spice to retain its flavor, aroma and goodness, and to increase its shelf life. The de-seeded variety of Sichuan pepper will have significantly low flavor and aroma when compared to the seeded ones.
Sichuan peppercorns and salads!
The citrusy-lemony yet pungently spicy flavors of Sichuan peppercorns work as a perfect sprinkler for salads and sauteed vegetables. Just sprinkle some homemade Sichuan pepper powder over that bowl of salad or veggies or even curries for a unique tingling flavor with every bite!