Long pepper (Piper longum), sometimes called Indian long pepper or 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.
The fruit of the pepper consists of many minuscule fruits – each about the size of a poppy seed – embedded in the surface of a flower spike that closely resembles a hazel tree catkin. The fruits of this plant are often confused with chili peppers, which belong to the genus Capsicum, originally from the Americas.
Though often used in medieval times in spice-mixes like "strong powder", long pepper is today a very rare ingredient in European cuisines, but it can still be found in Indian, and Nepalese vegetable pickles, some North African spice mixtures, and in Indonesian and Malaysian cooking. Long Peppers are the main spice of Nihari, one of the national dishes of Pakistan and Indian metropolis of Lucknow.
In Ayurvedic medicine long pepper is used to improve appetite and digestion, as well as treat stomachache, heartburn, indigestion, intestinal gas, diarrhea, and cholera.