Mango powder - recipes?
- Linda W. Jan 19, 2005 12:11 PM
My best friend knows easy Christmas presents for me are always spices and foodstuffs. Sure enough, she had a ball choosing stuff at Christina's Spices in Harvard Square.
One of the items she got was a vial/jar of mango powder. I know it's dried green mangoes that have been pulverized, and I've Googled info to know it's often used as part of a marinade or in curries. I'm not a huge curry fan, probably because I haven't had the "real stuff", and I'm also not that knowledgeable about Indian foods.
I adore ginger, so I'm hoping hounds can come up with with some suggestions to mix the two, or any other ideas in how to use it.
Mango powder is wonderful with pan fried okra. You can slit the okra and stuff a spice mixture inside. It completely eliminates the "slimy" qualities.
I don't have my recipes with me at the time--though I posted here about aamchur a while back and got some good suggestions. You might try looking up "aamchur" and okra (or ladyfingers).
Think of it as another member of the family of sour/fruity grace notes you can add to many different dishes. Add it to recipes where you would ordinarily add lemon juice, and then your palate will become familiar with its effect on a dish. Like lemon juice, it will be fresher-tasting and more potent if you put it in at the end, off heat, but it is somewhat sturdier. Have fun!
For years I have been making Madhur Jaffrey's "chana masaledar," a delicious chick pea dish from her Invitation to Indian Cooking. The recipe calls for "amchoor or lemon juice." Not having any idea what amchoor was, for years I used lemon juice - until I came across a packet of amchoor at an Indian grocery store, and I've been using the amchoor ever since. The difference in flavor is real, but not too significant, but I get some small pleasure from using the more authentic ingredient.
If you do a Google search on the phrase "chana masaledar" the recipe will come up.
Amchur is essential to Chaat Masala, which is a spice mixture used on/in snacks (chaat) such as fruits, nuts, and savories. If you search for chaat masala, you will find some recipes. or you could just use amchur by itself/with salt and chili pepper powder, etc to season cashews, or toasted sunflower seeds, or sliced fresh fruit such as apples, pears, jicama, or oranges. It makes things lip-smackin' good.
Since it is a transliteration (from Hindu?), it is alternately spelled amchoor, amchur, aamchur, and probably some other ways. LIkewise chaat, which is also spelled chat.
Great with dal, as noted below, and vegetables. A simple one (paraphrased, natch) from "Madhur Jaffrey's Spice Kitchen":
Chatpatee sem (tangy green beans with ajwain and ginger)
1 pound green beans, trimmed
2 TB vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp ajwain seeds
1/2 medium onion, peeled and sliced thin
3/4-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and diced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 (or more) tsp cayenne
2 tsp well-crumbled amchoor powder
Cook the beans 4 or 5 minutes in boiling salted water, then drain.
Heat the oil at medium high. When it's very hot, add cumin and ajwain, stir 10 seconds, add onion and lower the heat to medium.
When the onion is light brown, add the ginger and stir 20 seconds. Add the beans and mix. Add cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt to taste, and toss the mixture to combine. Add amchoor and 2 TB water, mix once more, and serve.