Raye timur grows wild in large parts of the Himalayas and in the Indian Eastern Ghats. It is the tiny berry of the Zanthoxylum armatum, a Szechuan pepper. The dark brown berry is sharp and has an unmissable citrus aroma.
In Nepal and India this Szechuan pepper is called timur, elsewhere also timut or Nepalese mountain pepper. The fruit has been gathered for centuries by the indigenous population for medicinal use - including against flatulence. More and more, the timur nowadays is gathered for its gently pungent sharpness and unmistakable grapefrui flavor. Its citrus taste becomes stronger and sweeter when the pepper is heated.
The Zanthoxylum armatum on which this pepper berry grows is a shrub that has venomous spines. The shrub carries small yellow flowers that develop into fruits that turn pale pale red quickly, and eventually turn dark red. The bunches of berries are harvested from the first week of October until well into November.
The timur is found in the warmer valleys in the Himalayas at altitudes of 1000 to 2100 meters. It is one of the few spices that grow at this height. The Raye timur is mainly picked in the Bajura and Myagdi regions. It grows in abundance, but the harvest is small. In India the species is threatened by excessive, uncontrolled picking, in Nepal that is not the case.
The unique sharpness experience of sanshol
Characteristic of all Zanthoxylum peppers, and therefore also of Szechuan pepper, is the tingling that you experience on the tip of your tongue by a substance in the pepper called sanshool, named after the Japanese sanshō. The sharpness is caused by the amides in the skin of the fruit: α, β, γ and δ-sanshool, α hidroxy sanshool and β-hidroxy sanshool. For the narcotic effect, γ sanshool and α hidroxy sanshool are primarily responsible. The amount of α-hidroxy-sanshool in the berries can amount to (more than) 50 ‰ of the dry weight, of γ sanshool around 5 ‰.
The tingling is accompanied by a slight anesthetic, jokingly compared to tasting a 9-volt battery. A single berry is enough to experience that! This somatosensation, stimulation by touch, has been used for centuries as an anesthetic in traditional medicine in Asia. The operation is very complex and subject to extensive studies. Hydroxy-α-sanshol in particular would cause tingling, and there are certain parallels with the sharpness perception of capsaicin, the sharp substance in chili pepper, but also with menthol and mustard oil.
Smell and taste
In Raye timur, the smell of grapefruit is prominent, even to the extent that you have to be careful with the dosage. This is an anthology only from the wide taste palette:
- D-limonene * (dipentene), sweetish orange flavor, modestly present in nutmeg, mace and cardamom,
- linalol *, responsible for the fresh floral scent
- methyl cinnamate *, the taste of strawberry, but the smell balsamic,
- β-pinene, woody pine scent, as in cumin, pine (pine cone), juniper and hemp,
- myrcene, as in laurel and clove
- sabines, responsible for the woody, camphor-like taste of black pepper, among other things
- carvotan acetone, also mint, as in angelica,
- the bitter terpinol *, - especially found in the seeds - and in cranberries.
The oils that are marked with an arterisk are dominant in aroma and taste. Feel free to combine timur with any of the aforementioned spices, and in general with products that go well with citrus such as crustaceans and shells, white fish, salmon, white butter sauces, veal, pork and duck. Can be eaten raw and added at the last minute, and is delicious in vegetable salads and in desserts or with fruit.
Bruise the fruit, which releases the seeds. These are easier to screw up than the seed houses, which can best be ground. Just like the whole berries (with seed).
In the kitchens of Tibet, Nepal and Buthan, timur is used in chutneys and pickles, among other things. Famous dishes from Nepalese cuisine in which timur is used are momo (a dumpling) and thupka (a noodle soup. In Indian cuisine, the timur would be called the 'mirchi berry', it could be. Mirchi is the Hindi name for all types of pepper, from black pepper to chili pepper Bhut Jolokia and Naga Jolokia (raja mirch) The pepper is used in a nutritious winter soup called hag and in chutneys such as dunkcha.
- 100% berries of the Zanthoxylum armatum
- origin: regions of Bajura and Myagdi, Nepal
- Available in standing bag, glass and test tube
- standing bags contain 30, 45, 150 and 300 grams respectively
- test tubes 10 ml
- glass jar contains 30 grams
- the cubic box is suitable for packaging one glass jar and is supplied with a sheet of black tissue paper
- the flat box has a flat 'velvet' inlay, and is suitable for our small and medium-sized pouches (150 and 250 ml), marked with an arterisk *. Capacity: 4-5 bags, depending on the type of spice
- for further details (and images) of our gift packaging, please refer to the product page
- Raye timur is a versatile Szechuan pepper, like Lai Châu, prepared both raw and hot
- keep it in a dry and pretty cool place
- the expiry date is meant as an indication
- December 2022
Do you want to know what Raye timur tastes like?
You can always try a test tube. The tube contains enough pepper to learn to understand the taste essence.
|Zanthoxylum (Rutaceae)||Zanthoxylum armatum|
|No additions||100% dried fruit|
|Contains no allergenes|
- Brand: Global food and spices
- Product Code: F036.1
- Availability: In Stock