Mango powder is also called amchur (or amchoor) and is used to provide tartness in Indian cuisine. Along with its sour notes, it adds a fruity aroma and mild sweetness. Your best options for finding mango powder are to seek out Indian grocery stores or to order it online. If you need it right away, consider trying one of the mango powder substitutes below.
Table of Contents
- Your best bet: Tamarind powder
- A decent second choice: Tamarind paste
- In a pinch: Lemon or lime juice
- Other alternatives
- Must-read related posts
Your best bet: Tamarind powder
Tamarind powder is the dried and powdered form of tamarind. Like the fruit from which it is made, it is extremely sour (like lime or lemon juice) and is used to provide a tart note to dishes. Like mango powder, it also adds a mild sweetness and fruity undertones to your dish. That tartness is what makes it an ideal ingredient to use as an alternative to mango powder. Because it is in powder form, no adjustments have to be made to use it in a dish that calls for mango powder.
Remember that tamarind powder is a souring agent – its tangy flavor can easily make a dish unpalatable if you go overboard. Add it with caution. When using tamarind powder as a mango powder substitute, start by adding ¾ teaspoon of the tamarind powder and increasing the amount to taste as necessary.
A decent second choice: Tamarind paste
Unprocessed tamarind (sometimes called tamarind pulp) will have seeds and fibers that you must remove before adding it to your dish. You can do this by soaking and straining the pulp to create a tamarind paste. You can also purchase tamarind paste, which is pulp that has been processed to remove the fibers and seeds.
Tamarind paste provides a similar combination of sour flavor and fruity sweetness that you would get from mango powder. The fruity notes are somewhat deeper than those from tamarind powder; however, the fact that tamarind paste contains liquid may require adjustments liquids in your dish when using it in place of mango powder.
Like tamarind powder, use about ¾ the amount that your recipe requires for mango powder and adjust to taste.
In a pinch: Lemon or lime juice
While tart citrus juice cannot match the complex flavors that you get from mango powder, it can provide a similar sourness. In addition, lemons and limes are easier to find than many of the mango powder alternatives.
Note that citrus juice should be added near the end of the cooking time, as it can degrade if exposed to heat for long periods. You should also keep the fact that it is a liquid in mind and adjust the other liquids in your dish accordingly.
Loomi is made from Persian limes that have been boiled in salt want and then dried. The salt and the drying process cause the flesh of the lime to turn black, which is why the limes used to make loomi are referred to as black limes. Like mango powder, loomi is a great source or tartness and a deep fruit flavor. It is used for that purpose in Middle Eastern Cooking. You can use the limes whole or grind them to a powder to be mixed with other seasonings.
Food grade citric acid powder is not just a preservative, it is a souring agent as well. Citric acid is what gives citrus its tart flavor and can be used as a replacement for mango power to provide sour notes in a variety of dishes.