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.


      • THIS IS GREAT!!! I have been going to Indonesia every year since 2005. I stay with a Batak family from Pangururan, its not far from Toba Lake. I have been trying to learn how to cook the food there and searching the web for recipes. this is the first that explains the food and ingredients … Thank you!!!!

        • You’re welcome. If you like Batak food, you can see on this blog on the top, there is “Indonesian Recipes” that can be scrolled down and you will find a category “Sumatra food”

          • Hello Pepe, I was in Balige last week and on Fridays, there’s a weekly Farmer’s Market. It’s here that I got introduced to “Kaffir Lime” and fresh Andaliman. What I’m experimenting is to make an Indian Pickle (Acar) using these two as the primary ingredients, adding fresh turmeric, green and red chillies and ginger. Let me check how they mature over time. Thanks again


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.