Exotic spices form an integral part of Indian cuisines that delivers delectable taste, flavour, and rich aroma to the dishes. Spices can be used in more innovative ways in your cooking for making the food taste better besides offering a wealth of health incentives. Mother Nature has bequeathed upon us a bounty of spices that are available in the form of seed, root, bark, leaves and flower. One such strong spice is Amchur powder, also known as mango powder, which is one of the fruity spice powders that is made from dried unripe green mangoes. It is added to several popular Punjabi dishes like chole, rajma, and aloo partha to mention a few to get that tangy flavour and bit of sourness. Generally, souring agents like lime, tamarind and kokum are not used in North Indian cuisines, while these flavouring agents are commonly used in western and South Indian cooking.
Amchur powder is typically used when the mangoes are out of season, to boost that tangy hint and nutrition to the foods and drinks. Though sour, it is yet sweet to taste with tart pale beige to brownish colour and is widely used to add extra zest to the dishes and tweaked for lemon. Amchur powder is loaded with vast reserves of nutrients like vitamins A, C, and E and antioxidants and a great source of iron that offers therapeutic and medicinal benefits. Amchur powder is extensively used in Ayurvedic medicines for treating indigestion, regulating diabetes, pumping iron stores, and boosting skin and hair health.
Well, amchur powder is known by vernacular names such as Amchur, Amchoor, and Amachoor in Hindi, Amera in Bengali, Keri in Gujarati, Ona Mavu in Kannada, Suka Amb in Punjabi and Marathi, Manga podi in Malayalam, Mangai Podi in Tamil, and Mamidikaya Pudi in Telugu.
Adding amchur powder into a meal plan can have a positive impact on your overall health and well-being. About 10 grams of amchur powder offers 36 calories, 2 grams of fibre, 2% of calcium, 3% of vitamin C and 13 % of sodium. It contains a fair amount of iron which is valuable for treating iron deficiency anaemia. Apart from this imbued with a good amount of vitamin A and C it is beneficial in strengthening the immune system and keeping infections at bay.
Nutrition facts for Amchur powder for every 10 grams or 2 teaspoons of amchur powder include:
9 g carbohydrates
2 g fiber
300 mg sodium
20 mg calcium
1.2 mg Vitamin C
How To Make Amchur Powder?
Amchur powder is made from raw unripe fresh mangoes. Unripe mangoes are sliced into strips or chips form that are dried in sunlight for a couple of days until it becomes brittle and crisp. Then dried chips are grounded into fine powder. Thus, amchur is called dry mango powder in English. ‘Am’ is a short word for ‘aam’, meaning mangoes in Hindi and ‘chur or choor’ means to crush to powder.
Sun Drying Method:
- Take raw mangoes and wash them well and pat dry
- Peel the skin of mangoes with a peeler
- Slice the mangoes into long thin strips or chips
- Place the chips on a steel plate and cover it well with a dry muslin cloth and keep it in the sunlight for 5 to 7 hours
- Repeat it daily until the pieces are crisp and brittle
- Ground them in a mixer into a fine powder
- Sieve, if required to make an even powder
- Store the amchur powder in a clean air-tight jar, as lumps may form, and colour may darken if exposed to moisture
Oven Drying Method:
- This method is suitable if sunlight is not sufficient
- The temperature in the oven is adjusted to the lowest 122 F to 194 F
- It may take about 10 to 24 hours for the mango chips to dry
- Keep the mango in the oven for 7 hours during the day and cover them with a muslin cloth and store them at room temperature
- Repeat the same process for 3 days to get crispy chips
- Home-made amchur powder is fresh and better than store-bought one
Health Benefits Of Amchur Powder
Rich in potent antioxidants amchur powder stimulates digestive fire and helps to combat acidity. Loaded with fibre and phenolic compounds it regularises bowel movements and treats gastrointestinal woes like constipation and flatulence. Adding amchur powder into your diet on a regular basis may help in improving metabolism, and gut health.
Good For Vision
Amchur powder is endowed with powerful nutrients like vitamin A and E which are essential for healthy eyesight. Potent antioxidant actions of this powder help in averting oxidative damage and lower the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
Augments Cardiac Health
Rich in dietary fibre, antioxidants, and other bioactive compounds, amchur plays a key role in diminishing bad cholesterol. Adding them to your regular diet reduces the risk of sudden heart attacks and uplifts heart functions. Amchur powder is widely used in ayurvedic medicines to maintain heart health and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Supports Weight Loss
Being intrinsically low in calories and carbohydrates, amchur powder is effective in shedding surplus kilos. Furthermore, packed with strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory traits it helps in triggering metabolism and burning fat.
Packed with a treasure of nutrients such as vitamin A, C, D, B6 and beta carotenes, amchur powder gets rid of harmful toxins, detoxifies the system and uplifts liver health. Aside from this, it improves blood circulation, boosts iron levels and treats urinary tract infections.
Amchur Powder For Skin
Amchur powder is an effective home remedy to combat acne. Use it as a mild scrub for clearing clogged pores and making the skin supple and smooth. The natural exfoliating action of amchur powder helps in healing blemishes and blackheads. Apart from these, anti-ageing traits of amchur powder slow down signs of ageing and keep the skin wrinkle-free and youthful.
Amchur powder is a potent agent in the prevention and treatment of scurvy. Amchur powder rich in vitamin C, when blended with jaggery has been found to be very effective in fighting scurvy.
Uses Of Amchur Powder
Amchur powder has been used largely in making a wide range of delicacies. It renders flavour to soups, chutneys, curries, dal, pickles, stir fry vegetables and fruit salad. The dried powder is sprinkled on dishes like chicken, fish, tikka, and stew to add that zest and tanginess. This fruity spice is even used in continental cuisines like grilled fish. Moreover, amchur powder is added to desserts, smoothies and shakes to make them tasty and nutritious.
Amchur Powder Recipe
2 cups cooked rice
3 tsp amchur powder
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dal
2 tsp chana dal
1 tsp peanuts
2 chopped green chilies
3 dried red chilies
¼ tsp turmeric powder
A pinch of hing
3 tbsp oil
1 sprig curry leaves
Salt to taste
In a pan heat oil, add mustard seeds dals and peanuts and fry until light brown.
Now add red chillies, green chillies and curry leaves and stir for a few minutes.
Add the turmeric powder, Hing and mix well.
Switch off the flame and add the cooked rice, salt and amchur powder.
Blend well until nicely combined
Serve with papad.
Amchur powder is a storehouse of several nutritional components including calcium, iron, and potassium, besides notable amounts of Vitamins B6, A and C. Hing aids in regulating digestion and gut health. While dals and peanuts added offer protein for repair and growth and provide various vitamins and minerals to optimise overall health.
Instant Khatti Meethi Chutney
1/2 cup grated jaggery
2 tbsp amchur powder
1 tsp roasted jeera powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp salt
In a pan add grated jaggery, amchur powder, jeera powder, chilli powder, garam masala, salt and 1/2 cup of water and mix well.
Amchur powder offers a nice tanginess to complement the sweetness of jaggery, and chilli powder gives this chutney a spicy kick.
Cook on a low flame for 10 minutes until all the ingredients dissolve well and chutney thickens, while stirring occasionally.
Cool completely and store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator and use as and when needed.
This chutney also called sweet and sour chutney is a must to have for Indian chats. Amchur powder offers tanginess and flavour, besides providing a wealth of nutrients. Jaggery is rich in iron content, boosts iron levels and improves the digestion process.
Side Effects of Amchur Powder
Amchur powder is generally safe for consumption for most healthy individuals. Although there have been a few rare cases of people showing allergies to amchur powder. Also, people who experience any adverse reactions to mangoes should avoid them, as it can lead to dyspnea and anaphylaxis. One common side effects of excessive intake of amchur powder are sore throat or cough as it is very tangy and sour.
Amchur or dry mango powder is a fruity Indian spice that adds a unique taste and touch to the dishes. It is widely used as a flavouring agent in North Indian dishes like chats, soups, gravies, pakoras, chutneys etc. This tangy spice confers health benefiting properties for skin, eyes, and gut health. Laden with essential vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals it is valuable in optimising overall health. Add this tangy powder to your regular diet and reap its incredible benefits.