Indian Cooking with Pepper Powder: Things to Know

Pepper is integral to the spice box in many Indian kitchens. In fact, it played an important role in the Indian history of spice trade.

It was long used as a medium of exchange. Pepper is of two types – Black Pepper and White Pepper.

Both types work as seasoning and flavouring agents. Black pepper has a sharp, bitter taste and hence, should be used in a very small quantity.

Uses of Pepper Powder in Indian Cuisines

Indian Cooking with Pepper Powder

It is best to use freshly ground pepper for flavour enhancement. For spicy delicacies, it is best to use pepper towards the end of cooking as it will preserve the aroma.

Both black pepper and white pepper are used in different recipes. In Indian cuisines, white pepper is usually used in white and creamy curries and gravies.

It is also used in light-coloured soups. It is much loved for fish and meat preparations. White pepper is added to snacks and sandwiches as well.

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White pepper powder is a common ingredient in your favourite noodles and many other Chinese delights.

White pepper is a must-add ingredient in white sauce as it gives the dish a speckled appearance.

Compared to black pepper, white pepper offers mild, delicate flavour, thereby infusing peppy flavour in soups, sauces and other delicacies.

However, white pepper contains a greater amount of piperine and hence, is stronger, hotter and more powerful than its black counterpart.

Black pepper powder offers spicy pungent flavour. It is one of the most widely used spices across the world.

Roasted black peppercorn whips up the magic in sandwiches, soups, sambars and even chai.

The peppy flavour of chaat masala sprinkled on a variety of chaats and even sandwiches comes from black pepper.

Who does not love masala chai? Especially if it is a chilli cold or a rainy day, masala chai is a favourite hot drink anytime. Black pepper is one of the key ingredients in masala chai.

Black pepper is also added to raitas and buttermilk. In Indian kitchens, garam masala is one of the most versatile ingredients.

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Though used in a low quantity, it can infuse magic in any dish. The characteristic and lovely flavour, which perks up the taste of biryani, pulao, gravy and sabji, owes a lot to black pepper.

Black peppercorn tempered in ghee imparts a delicious and distinct fierceness to dals, biryani and khichdi. The pungency of black pepper makes any bland dish delectable.

It is also added during the process of making vegetables, meat and ginger breads for the punchiness in taste.

You can sprinkle black pepper on a bowl of curd. It is also used in several appetizers like rasam, Malabari curry, coconut thogayal and Kanchipuram idli.

It can work as a mild seasoning agent over fresh fruit salads and beverages.

What is the Taste of Pepper Powder?

Pepper powder, also known as black pepper, has a strong and pungent taste with a slightly spicy and earthy flavor.

It is commonly used as a seasoning and spice in various dishes to add flavor and depth.

The taste of pepper powder can vary depending on its freshness, quality, and the amount used in the dish.

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Generally, freshly ground pepper has a stronger and more intense flavor than pre-ground pepper.


Pepper is an essential ingredient in Indian cuisine and has a rich history in the spice trade.

Both black pepper and white pepper are used in different recipes, with white pepper offering a milder, delicate flavor while black pepper provides a spicy pungent taste.

Pepper powder has a strong and pungent taste with a slightly spicy and earthy flavor, and is commonly used as a seasoning and spice in various dishes.

Freshly ground pepper is recommended for maximum flavor and intensity.

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