Amchur (Mango Powder)
What is Amchur (Mango powder)?
A favourite spice in South Asia, Amchur (also spelled Amchoor or Aamchur) is a powerful powder made by grinding dried unripe mangos. Extraordinarily sour and easy to use Amchur can bring some zing to any dish but is especially good in curries.
What does Amchur taste like?
Amchur is a potent spice with an intense sour taste that dominates its flavour profile, undercurrents of fruity citrus are also present.
What is Amchur used for?
Amchur is an incredibly versatile spice, its sharp sour notes and citric tang can elevate any dish. It’s a major component in curries in India where it balances the more pungent spices, bringing a fruity zing to otherwise potentially overwhelming blends. Amchur makes a great addition to chutneys, sour soups and many other dishes. It should be noted that Amchur is a very potent spice, a little goes a long way so be mindful when cooking. Amchur can help bring zesty, fruity notes to a dish without the need to add high moisture juices or whole fruits which can interfere with consistency.
Here’s a few tasty recipes using Amchur to inspire you:
Name and Origins
The Mango tree itself is a large canopy tree which grows up to 40m in height and occurs naturally in rainforests. The climate has significant impact on when the mango tree flowers, and subsequently when the fruit can be harvested, this has been mitigated since the 70’s through the use of chemical motivators which induce flowering and can be used to ensure year round harvest, this technique was adapted from traditional methods of using smoke to induce flowering.
Although they are native to Asia the popularity of mangoes has made them a widely grown crop in the tropics. Mangos are grown in many tropical and subtropical countries. Today India remains the largest producer of Mangoes with 46% being grown there.
The name Amchur comes from the Hindi words for mango powder. Mangoes are the fruit of the tree Mangifera indica which is believed to have originated in India or South East Asia. The incredibly large seeds in the fruits have led some researchers to think that the seeds were originally dispersed by now extinct megafauna.
The mango first became domesticated in India and South East Asia and is one of the oldest cultivated fruits in the world. Traders introduced the mango to numerous tropical nations where it is now widespread and grown commercially for a wide number of uses.
Amchur as a spice has likely been used for as long as mangoes themselves, it’s an essential flavour in South Asian cuisine and is intrinsic to many of the dishes in the region