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What Is Amchur Powder and how to use it for cooking

What Is Amchur Powder and how to use it for cooking

So you bought Amchur to make a dish but ‘What is  Amchur powder’, is it same as dry mango powder, how to use it for cooking and what is a good substitute for dry mango powder? All your queries answered in this post. 

What is amchur powder
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Tangy, citrusy, sour, Amchur powder also spelled as Amchoor powder is simply Mango Powder !!

It is a plain beige coloured fruity sour Indian spice.

Made from dried unripe green mangoes ground into powder and used as a spice to add tartness to dishes.

What Is Amchur Powder?

Amchoor is essentially dry raw mango powder.

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.

The typical use of amchur powder is to make curries especially vegetarian dishes.

This sour spice is popularly used for making Indian savoury street food known as Chaat or snack items. 

Caution must be taken when using this spice as it adds a sour taste to dishes. 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 taste.

What is Amchur Powder Called in Other Languages?

Amchur powder in English – Dry Mango powder, Ground Mango

In  Hindi – Amchoor powder, Amchur powder, Aamchur powder

Amchur powder in German – Mango pulver

Amchur powder in French –  Poudre sèche la mangue

 Amchur powder in Spanish – De mango polvo seco

How Does Amchur Powder Taste Like?

The taste of dry mango powder is uncomplicated and straightforward that is, it is sour.

It has a strong taste with a slight sweet undertone.

You know what a dish will taste of when you add this spice.

When adding it to spice blends, it is best to use it in small quantity.

How To Use Amchur Powder

The typical uses of Amchur Powder for cooking is in dishes that you wish to add a tangy taste to.

It is an add-on ingredient for making many different Indian street foods such as chaat dishes like alu tiki, samosas, chutneys etc.

Below are few ideas of the uses of dried mango powder.

  • Amchoor powder is added to curries like chickpea curry, lentils etc, stir-fried for adding sourness to the dish.
  • Use amchur spice to sprinkle over deep-fried dishes such as pakoras or patties as a seasoning.
  • Amchoor powder is a good substitute for lemon juice, vinegar or any ingredient that has a sour taste.
  • Add a little sprinkle of dried mango powder to chips, fries, peanuts or dry snacks
  • It is also a popular spice for making spice rubs and spice blends such as this homemade Chaat masala a versatile seasoning for Indian snacks.
  • Try using a pinch of this spice in your roasted vegetables, stir-fries or even for salad dressings
  • Give mocktails or cocktails a tangy twist by adding a little dash.

Amchur powder pinterest image

What Is The Best Substitute for Amchur Powder

A common question asked is ‘what to use instead of amchur powder?’

A replacement or finding a substitute for dried mango powder is rather easy because of the straight taste of this spice that is sour!!

The spice can be substituted by 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 dry mango substitute are:

lemon juice, vinegar, tamarind pulp, kokam fruit, yogurt

Which Foods Go Best With Amchur Powder?

It is not advisable to use any type of souring agent in excess unless the recipe calls for it.

Use it only if you need to add a tang to your dish 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 , fenugreek seeds 

What is the Difference Between Amchur Powder VS Other Souring Spices

Amchur 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 on when to use each will depend 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 cooking or even as a seasoning for an uplifting sourness.

Although the use of all the above souring agents 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.

What Are The Health Benefits of  Amchur Powder

Aids in Digestion -The powerful antioxidants contained in mango makes Amchur spice combat constipation, flatulence and acidity.  Consuming a teaspoon of this spice 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.

Helps improve metabolism-  Dried Mango powder is low in carbohydrate while the antioxidant present in amchur boost metabolism. The effect of both these properties helps to increase weight loss

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 dry mango 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.

You can buy dry mango powder directly online from the Spice house store.

Buy amchoor powder online
Click image to buy Amchur powder online

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.

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 like the one here. 

Store the powder in a dark, dry place away from direct sunlight.

Well stored spice will keep its character and flavour for almost a year. Refer to the shelf life of spices chart to get the best out of your spices and herbs.

What is amchur powder infographic

Easy Recipes with Amchur Powder To Try

Bharwan Bhindi – Spices Stuffed Indian Okra Recipe 

South Indian Amchur Rice Recipe 

Dahi Alu – Potatoes in Spicy Yoghurt Based Gravy 

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.

And as always if you think this article deserves more eyes then please do share by clicking the share and/or save buttons.

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Jubilee D Meyer
Jubilee D Meyer
5 years ago

Such good info Sunrita! Definitely want to try this the next time I make my Stir fry!

5 years ago

Definitely have never heard of amchur before. I was about to ask what else it could be used for when I saw the bit about vegetables. I might give it a try, though. If I can actually find it…:)

5 years ago

I don’t remember ever hearing of Amchur powder before, but I’m sure I must have had it in curry. I was especially interested in the health benefits and digestive aid it provides.

5 years ago

Absolutely appreciate this detailed post Sunrita! This post is a piece of labor! Amazing. I love amchur particularly in Indian condiments and use it a lot in my North Indian cooking.

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