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Amchur powder is a unique tangy Indian spice used in many Indian savoury dishes. This comprehensive guide will clarify all your queries related to what is Amchur powder and how to use it for cooking.
What Is Amchur Powder – A complete Guide
Amchur powder or Dried Mango Powder is a plain beige coloured fruity souring Indian spice.
Made from dried unripe green mangoes ground into powder and used as a spice to add tartness to dishes.
Unripe mangoes are first cut into pieces and left to dry for few days before grinding into powder which is then commercially packed and sold.
You can also find dried green mango slices being sold in specialist or health food stores.
It is usually used to made curries especially in vegetarian dishes and used extensively for making Indian savoury street food known as Chaat!
It adds a sour taste to dishes so caution must be taken when using it. Adding too much may make the dish too tart and unpleasant.
Although not a must-have spice, it sure does lift flavours of the dish and give that tangy bite.
Other Names for Amchur Powder
English – Dry Mango powder, Ground Mango
Indian ‘in Hindi’ – Amchoor powder, Amchur powder, Aamchur powder
German – Mango pulver
How Does Amchur Powder Taste
Amchur powder is a sour spice with a slight sweet undertone. It has a very strong taste so must be sparingly used in dishes.
The taste of this spice is very uncomplicated and straightforward that is, it is sour.
So you know what a dish will taste of when you add this spice to a dish.
It falls into the sour spice category.
When adding it to spice blends, it is best to use it in small quantity.
The Uses of Amchur Powder for Cooking
Amchur is made of green mangoes, it is used in dishes which requires a tangy taste.
It is an add-on ingredient for making many different Indian street foods such as chaat dishes like alu tiki, samosas, chutneys etc, curries like chickpea curry, lentils etc, stir-fried or deep-fried dishes such as pakoras or patties.
It is also a popular spice for making spice rubs and spice blends for marinades, spice mixes and sauces.
Try using a pinch of this spice in your roasted vegetables, stir-frys or even for salad dressings and mocktails to give your dish a tangy twist.
Amchur Powder VS Other Souring Spices
Amchur powder is not the only souring spice used in Indian cuisine.
There are many different ingredients that you can use to add a tangy base to your dish.
Some of the most popular souring agents used for both Indian and international cuisine are:
Yoghurt, lemon /lime juice, tomatoes, vinegar, pomegranate seeds/powder, sumac, kokam fruit and taramind fruit pulp to name a few.
The difference here is on the level of sourness, their distinctive taste and their use during the cooking process.
While yoghurt and tomatoes are used mainly at the beginning of the cooking process, pomegranate powder, vinegar and kokam fruit are usually used in the middle of the cooking process when your dish is not yet complete.
Amchoor powder, sumac, lemon juice, taramind fruit pulp are normally used at the end of the cooking process or even as a seasoning for an uplifting sourness.
Although the use of all is to add tartness to a dish, the type of ingredient you use depends on the kind of flavour you wish to add to your dish.
Health Benefits of Amchur Powder
Aids in Digestion -The powerful antioxidants contained in mango makes Amchur powder combat constipation, flatulence and acidity. Consuming a teaspoon of Amchur powder will help in maintaining a healthy digestive system.
Improves Skin Health – Amchur powder contains vitamin A and vitamin E that is required for healthy skin and eyes and improve skin texture.
Aids in detoxifying the body– Dry mango powder has vitamins A, C, D , B6 and Iron in abundance.
All are beneficial to remove toxins from the body, treating anaemia and curing the nervous system disorders. In ancient Ayurveda, amchur has been used to treat diarrhoea, urinary tract infections and dysentery.
Treats And Prevents Scurvy – Scurvy is a medical condition that is caused due to lack of vitamin C.
There is an abundance of this vitamin in Amchur powder that can prove helpful in the healing of scurvy. Consuming one part of mango powder with two parts of jaggery helps to treat scurvy.
Where to Buy Amchur Powder
Since Amchur powder is not a very common spice, it may not be readily available in the normal supermarket unless it has a dedicated Indian section.
You can buy this spice from any Indian grocery store or health food store. Wherever you choose to buy it is best to buy from a trusted source.
Amchur powder should be light beige to darker shades of beige in colour with a powdery texture.
Ensure that the powder is smooth and not lumpy. Check the manufactured date as old Amchur powder tends to have less taste.
Ensure that the packs or jars are tightly sealed.
Recommended Brands Of Amchur Powder To Buy
UK and Rest of Europe
Buy spices from or Amazon
Buy Amchur powder from Amazon
How to Store Amchur Powder
Like most spices, amchur powder tends to lose its freshness if not stored properly.
Keep it in a tightly sealed glass container, or if it’s in a packet then close the opening of the packet tightly with a clip.
Store the powder in a dark, dry place away from direct sunlight.
Well stored amchur powder will keep its character and flavour for almost a year.
Best Food and Spice Combination with Amchur Powder
Amchur powder should not be used extensively.
Use it only if you need to add a tang to your recipe or even drink.
Best food pairing: beans, pumpkin, eggplant, peas, potatoes, chicken, prawns, fish, lamb, lentils, legumes, soups, stews,curry,
Best spice pairing: asafoetida, cumin powder, chilli powder, coriander powder, dry chillies, fennel seeds, mustard seeds
Spice Substitute for Amchur Powder
As the taste of Amchur is sour, amchur powder can be substituted by many other ingredients with a similar taste.
Select the best amchur spice substitute keeping in mind the recipe.
If it is only to add a hint of sourness then the powdered or liquid form of substitutes such as vinegar or lemon juice may work.
Wet ingredients such as yogurt, kokam fruit or tamarind pulp will have an effect on the consistency of the dish while adding more acidity.
Few recommended substitutes are:
lemon juice, vinegar, tamarind pulp, kokam fruit, yogurt
Easy Recipes with Amchur Powder To Try
Your Views and Recipes
Have you heard or used Amchur powder for cooking? I love to hear your kitchen adventures so please share any recipes or tips.
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