Andaliman – A Family of Sichuan Pepper

Batak PepperPhoto has been updated on October 1
Being a half of Tapanuli (Batak) descendant, I should introduce Andaliman. In which a common ingredient to be used in North Sumatra. It’s added to many dishes such as arsik (cooked fish with spices) and sambal andaliman   Andaliman (Zanthoxylum acanthopodium DC) is native to North Sumatra.  The plant grows wild in Tapanuli and is a part of the Rutacea family and close to a Sichuan or Szechwan pepper (Z. piperitum, Z. simulans, and Z. schinifolium).   This andaliman also has a natural antioxidant source.

Fresh Andaliman has a small, green and round fruit.  The dried fruit of andaliman has an aromatic odor that, for most species, can be described as lemon-like, with more or less pronounced warm.  The taste is pungent and biting; it may take some time to develop, but in the end produces a strongly numbing, almost anesthetic feeling on the tongue.

Speaking about Sichuan Pepper, in North America, it is possible to come across names such as Szechwan pepper, Chinese pepper, Japanese pepper, aniseed pepper, Sprice pepper, Chinese prickly-ash, Fagara, sansho, Nepal pepper, Indonesian lemon pepper.

The Food Technology and Industry bulletin of Bogor Agriculture University has stated that andaliman is a specialty spice. Using andaliman in batak culinary makes the food have a longer shelf life. It’s assumed that andaliman has an anti-microbial and antioxidant activity.

PS: This was my first post on Indonesia Eats.

About the Author

An Indonesian born who lives in Winnipeg, Canada for more than a decade and decided to move a bit west. Edmonton is now where she is based on. Indonesia Eats is a memoir of her homeland.