Recipes that use mango powder/amchur
One of my favorite Indian places has an okra dish that with mango powder (a.k.a. amchur). I love the complex flavor of the amchur--it's a perfect balance of sweet and sour.
Yesterday I bought a big bag of the stuff at an Indian grocery. I'm going to do an online search for recipes, but I was wondering if and how any 'hounds use mango powder in their cooking--traditional Indian or otherwise.
Last night I dusted some eggplant cubes with amchur (instead of flour) and grilled them--very tangy. It seems that mango powder would be great in marinades, sauces, dressings, breadings... Or in desserts in place of lemon, or perhaps as a flavoring agent for creme brulee...
Try some of these:
Amchoor adds a lovely, fruity zing, and it's a natural with potato, eggplant or chickpeas, as Miele notes. Also cauliflower, green beans and other vegetables, stir-fried or braised.
Generally it turns up in dishes where you want to add sourness but not liquid (as you'd get from lemon juice or tamarind water, for example). For this reason it's used in the filling of some stuffed breads and the coating for fried fish.
It also contributes some of the flavor of jal jeera, the bracing, tangy/salty brew of cumin, tamarind and mint sold on the streets in India. Julie Sahni gives the following recipe in "Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking":
1 lime-sized ball of tamarind pulp (about 1 1/2 ounces)
1 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon amchoor
1 tablespoon ground roasted cumin seeds
2 teaspoons red pepper
1 cup mint leaves
1/2-inch cube fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon chat masala
Soak the tamarind in the boiling water for an hour and a half (Ms. Sahni specifies a nonmetallic bowl). Mash the pulp and strain the liquid into a deep bowl, squeezing the pulp as much as possible. Add 2 more cups of water to what's left of the tamarind, squeeze it again and strain it into the first batch of liquid. Add enough water to the bowl to make 6 1/2 cups of tamarind liquid. Add the sugar, amchoor, red pepper and cumin, and mix. Puree the mint leaves and ginger in a little water, and add it to the bowl. Add chat masala and salt to taste. Let it sit for an hour, then serve over crushed ice.
By the way, do crumble amchoor thoroughly before using it. It has a tendency to clump. And seal it up tight, in a jar or plastic container. It is vulnerable to attack by little bugs. I learned this the hard way.
Potato-eggplant dishes, with pinches of turmeric, coriander and cumin powders. Essential ingredient for sprinkling on steamed and peeled potatoes, along with diced red onions, chillies, garbanzo beans, mint chutney and tamarind chutney.
I would not use amchur in creme brulee, the flavor, IMO, is too sour, not warm like cinnamon etc. But it adds a nice tang to sweet-sour dishes.
Also delicious folded into yogurt mixed with grated cukes, a pinch of cumin and salt.