Spice education: Amchur Powder aka Mango Powder
Amchur Powder aka Mango Powder
A wonderful ingredient that is used in Pakistani, Indian, Burmese and Malaysian cooking. It is a spice that comes from a dried mango. Basically you take green or unripen mangos, peel the fruit into slices, let them try in the sun and pulverize it into a powder. The origination of “Am-chur” is from the Hindi word for Mango. India loves its mangos and they have found creative ways to use it in the Indian culinary world.
You take dried slices of raw mango which eventually have a light brown with a rough surface texture. If you use ripe mango slices then the color will be orange brown. Once the slices are totally dry and almost leathery looking you can grind this into a fine powder. The typical color of Mango Powder is light brown.
Scent: Sour, sweet, warm
Taste: Tangy, sour, acidic, lightly sweet
If you have had Tandoori Chicken then you have likely had Mango Powder. Mango Powder is a far better alternative to citric acid which a lot of mediocre Indian restaurants will use in their marinade to give your tandoori chicken that light bit of smoky tangy flavor. Instead, an authentic and better tasting tandoori chicken should use mango powder giving it a natural tart, sour and smoky flavor. Of course you never want to add too much because too much of anything is not a good thing. Like most Indian cooking this spice should be used carefully. It’s commonly seen in spices like Tandoori, Tikka or other kebab spices.