Amchoor or aamchur, also referred to as mango powder, is a fruity spice powder made from dried unripe green mangoes and is used as a citrusy seasoning. It is produced in India, and is used to flavour foods and add the nutritional benefits of mangoes when the fresh fruit is out of season.
To make amchoor, early-season mangos are harvested while still green and unripe. Once harvested, the green mangoes are peeled, thinly sliced, and sun-dried. The dried slices, which are light brown and resemble strips of woody bark, can be purchased whole and ground by the individual at home, but the majority of the slices processed in this way are ground into fine powder and sold as ready-made amchoor.
It has a honey-like fragrance and a sour fruity flavour and is a tart pale-beige-to-brownish powder used in dishes where acidity is required. Used in stir fried vegetable dishes, soups, curries, and to tenderize meat and poultry. It is used to add a fruit flavour without adding moisture, or as a souring agent. It lends an acidic brightness to the foods it is applied to.
In North Indian cookery
Amchoor is a predominant flavouring agent in north Indian dishes, where it is used to add a sour tangy fruity flavour without moisture. It is used to flavour samosa and pakora fillings, stews and soups, fruit salads and pastries, curries, chutneys, pickles and dals and to tenderize meats, poultry, and fish. It is added to marinades for meat and poultry as an enzymatic tenderiser, and lends its sourness to chutneys and pickles. See North Indian cuisine.
Substitutes and Availability
- Amchoor (mango powder) is readily available at Indian or Middle Eastern specialty stores.
- lime juice
- lemon juice
- chopped fresh mango (use more)
- chopped fresh papaya (use more)