Amchoor, known as mango powder, is a specific spice with a fruity aroma and mild sweetness.
It is used worldwide, but in India, it is an indispensable part of many dishes.
It is made from green unripe mango fruits that are dried and ground into an off-white powder, which has been used as a spice for centuries.
There are many ways to dry mangoes, but the traditional mango powder recipe involves sun-drying unripe mangoes.
Amchoor is a term that combines two Hindi words: aam, meaning mango, and choor, meaning powder.
Mango powder has a tart sour taste that occurs during cooking.
It may seem impossible to replace mango powder due to its unique blend of aromas and sour-sweet taste.
Still, we have managed to select some possible substitutes whether you need them in preparing a delicious dish, dessert, or refreshing drink.
Before we introduce you to our mango powder replacement suggestions, here are some facts about amchoor itself so you can compare and find the suitable replacement you need.
Amchoor is the best spice to use when mangoes are not in season. It adds a sweet and sour taste to any dish, pudding, or dessert.
There are many recipes in which you can use it, and it is a favorite spice among children and adults alike.
In addition to its spicy characteristics, amchoor also has very important properties that make it essential in the prevention of some diseases as well as in their treatment.
Taking a teaspoon of amchoor every day can have a very beneficial effect on health.
Mango powder contains vitamins A, C, D, B6, and beta carotene, so it successfully removes toxins, affects the body’s detoxification, and protects against cancer.
It is a rich source of iron and helps treat anemia.
It also helps with disorders of the nervous system and urinary tract infections.
It stimulates digestion, so it is also helpful for constipation and helps control sugar and blood pressure.
Its antioxidant properties improve metabolism, which helps in weight loss.
It is used extensively in Indian vegetarian cuisine to impart a tangy fruit flavor to vegetable stews and soups.
It is a must-have ingredient in chat masala, a refreshing blend of spices used in vegetable and pulse dishes and fruit salads.
It also prepares pickles, chutneys, curries, and stuffed vegetable delicacies. It is also added to various marinades.
A negative feature is that, although rarely, mango powder can cause allergies in people, so caution is needed in those who are otherwise prone to allergies.
- Tamarind Powder
The similarity between these two spices is evident because, like mangoes, the fruits of the tamarind tree are sour and have a hint of sweetness when unripe.
Tamarind powder’s sweet and sour taste makes it the best substitute for amchoor on this list.
As tamarind powder is very similar to mango powder in its mild sweetness and fruity tones that will enrich the dish you are about to make, you can add equal amounts to your dish when substituting mango powder.
But, of course, you can change this ratio based on your needs.
If you think the sweet note is stronger, add lemon juice, lime juice, or a drop of apple cider vinegar because tamarind can sometimes be sweeter than mango powder.
Like mango powder, tamarind has antioxidant properties and many other positive health effects.
Tamarind powder is perhaps the best substitute for mango powder for preparing meat dishes, sauces, soups, and vinaigrettes.
In addition, you can use it in both sweet and savory dishes.
- Tamarind paste
Tamarind paste is made by mashing dried tamarind fruit, fibers, and seeds. It is an excellent substitute for mango powder as it gives a similar combination of sweet and sour fruit tones.
However, it is essential to note that due to the liquid that tamarind paste contains, the amount should be adjusted when using it as a substitute for mango powder because adding too much could change the texture of the dish you are preparing.
The safest way is to replace each spoon of mango powder with half a spoon of tamarind paste.
More precisely, add no more than half the amount provided in the recipe.
Tamarind paste is common in Indian and Southeast Asian cuisine, where its rich flavor is an excellent addition to traditional vegetable dishes.
As far as acidity is concerned, the same applies to tamarind powder. If, after adding tamarind paste, the dish is still not sour enough, you can fix it by adding lemon juice, lime juice, or apple cider vinegar.
- Homemade mango powder
You can also make mango powder yourself. But, of course, in that case, you can’t talk about substitution because your homemade mango powder will be the same as the one bought in the store.
The only difference is that homemade mango powder is lighter because no other ingredients are added.
All you need is a little time and a few unripe mangoes.
First, peel the mango, cut it into thin slices, and spread it on a dry cotton sheet.
If you want to follow the traditional method of drying, then leave them in strong, direct sunlight for at least 4-5 hours. Just pay attention that their color does not change during drying.
During the night, put the mango slices in a warm and dry place, then repeat the process for the next few days until you have crispy and brittle dry strips.
Next, crush the completely dried mango before grinding it into a fine powder.
Finally, store it in tightly closed jars to prevent it from picking up moisture.
And if you don’t really care about the traditional drying method, you can dry the cut mango strips with a dehumidifier and grind them when they are completely crisp and brittle.
Anardana powder is a spice obtained by grinding dry pomegranate seeds. Its taste is sour-sweet, which makes it very similar to mango powder.
You need to pay attention because it is still a bit sweeter, so we recommend replacing the amount of mango powder provided by the recipe with half the amount of anardana powder.
If you want to increase the acidity and soften the sweet taste, you can add lemon juice. Anardana powder is an excellent addition to meat dishes and salads.
Anardana powder has a preventive effect on the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
- Loomi (black lemon)
Loomi is an everyday spice in the dishes of countries in the Middle East.
It is also known as black lemon, although it is actually a spice derived from lime.
Due to its acidity and fruity aroma, it is very similar to mango powder.
Loomi is made by boiling fresh limes, leaving them to dry in the sun, and later grinding them. Because of this process, this spice gets a sharp aroma.
If you need a substitute for mango powder that is predominantly sour with a hint of sweetness, then Loomi is an excellent choice.
It is used as a pickling agent, but it is also used in many types of stews, soups, and sauces.
In addition, it is excellent for preparing all kinds of meat, fish, and marinades because it softens the meat and helps preserve natural juices.
This spice contains salt, so when you use it as a substitute, you need to adjust the amount of salt in the recipe.
Also, due to the sharp taste that loomi has, if you use it as a substitute, it is best to halve the amount of mango powder.
Loomi contains a high percentage of vitamins, especially C and D, and a high content of minerals, potassium, and calcium.
Here is another spice from the Middle East. It is red, and unlike mango powder, which is made from unripe green fruits, for sumac, ripe berries are used that are dried and later ground into powder.
Because of this characteristic, unlike mango powder, sumac gives dishes slightly lighter tones.
The smell of sumac is reminiscent of lemon. It is very sour, but because it is obtained from ripe berries, the acidity of sumac is not dominant like that of citrus.
Two times more sumac powder should be added to the dish as a substitute for the intended amount of mango powder.
Sumac powder is rich in antioxidants that work successfully in disease prevention. It also affects the reduction of insulin and has a preventive effect, and reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
It reduces muscle pain, and due to the antimicrobial properties of the tannins it possesses, it is an excellent antiseptic.
In addition, according to data obtained in research, sumac successfully prevents the growth of five common oral bacterial strains that can lead to inflammation of the oral cavity.
Sumac contains a high percentage of vitamin C, fiber, protein, and minerals such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium.
- Lemon juice
Lemon juice is the easiest substitute for mango powder. It has a fruity note and is sour.
When replacing amchoor with lemon juice, you should adjust the amount correctly because the juices are liquid and can change the texture of the dish but also overpower the other ingredients.
We recommend adding just a teaspoon of lemon juice for every tablespoon of mango powder required.
You should remember to add lemon juice when the dish is almost ready because, with prolonged exposure to heat, the sour taste of lemon becomes bitter.
As lemon juice is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to achieve the desired level of acidity in dishes, it is ideal for sauces, salad dressings, and soups, as well as for grilled meat, preparing fish, or marinades.
Like powdered mango, this substitute is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C.
- Lime juice
What lemon and lime juice have in common is the same sour taste that amchoor powder offers.
Unlike lemon juice and amchoor powder, which give a hint of sweetness, lime juice lacks that quality.
However, regardless of this drawback, you can use it as a substitute.
The advice we gave regarding the dosage of lemon juice when replacing amchoor is the same when it comes to lime juice.
Because of its strong sour taste, you only need to replace each tablespoon of amchoor powder with one teaspoon of lime juice.
If, on the other hand, you want to add the sweetness that mango powder would bring to the dish, you can add a little brown sugar.
- Chaat masala spice blend
In translation, masala simply means a mixture of spices. It has been in use in India for centuries.
There are several types of masala: garam masala, chaat masala, tandori masala, and various masala blends for tea.
Chaat Masala is a blend of dry mango powder, anardana powder, tamarind powder, pepper, cumin, coriander, and many other spices.
Chaat Masala as a substitute will provide you with a double win because, in addition to the aromas of mango powder required by the recipe, it will make the food even tastier and full of new aromas due to the other spices used in this mixture.
Chaat masala is usually a mixture of fruity aromas and sweet, sour, and spicy flavors, depending on the choice of ingredients.
If used as a substitute, you can add the same amount of mango powder and chaat masala called for in the recipe.
But, again, expect a slightly sweeter taste that won’t interfere with the other ingredients.
- Citric acid
If you want to increase the acidity of a particular dish, citric acid is the right choice because it is simple to use.
In addition, since it does not require cooking to develop its taste, it can be added at the very end when the dish is almost ready.
You can get citric acid in powder or crystal form. According to the production method, it can be naturally obtained from grapefruit, oranges, broccoli, and tomatoes or artificial.
Citric acid gives a clean sour taste without the admixture of any other taste.
As a substitute for amchoor powder, we recommend replacing the mango powder provided in the recipe with only half the same amount of citric acid.
You can also add a pinch of brown sugar to achieve the sweetness of using mango powder.
Only citric acid obtained from natural sources preserved medicinal properties. In artificial citric acid, there are none at all.
- Tajine spice
Tajine is a Mexican seasoning made from ground-dried chili peppers, to which were added sea salt and dehydrated lime juice.
You can use it as a substitute if a recipe for preparing Mexican dishes calls for mango powder.
Tajine is a salty-spicy-sour spice and will make fruits and vegetables stand out sweet and thus make them even tastier.
This substitute for mango powder gives a sour but peppery taste.
If you do not enjoy spicy food, you should use this substitute for mango powder with caution.
It will be best to add only a tiny amount of tajine at first, and then if the taste suits you, add more if necessary.
For those for whom spiciness is not a problem, we recommend reducing the amount of mango powder provided in the recipe and adding only half of that amount of Tajin powder to the dish.
Since tajine is not as sour as mango powder, you can add more as long as you can tolerate the spicy taste, or you can simply add a little citric acid to the dish and solve the problem that way.
Amchoor is a magical combination of sweet and sour, and the offered alternatives have a similar specificity.
Your choice will, of course, depend primarily on the recipe for the dish you want to prepare, but keep in mind that all the options offered can be helpful and may open the door to a path to new flavors.
If you decide to stick to substitutes made from dried fruit, don’t worry that something dramatically wrong will happen to the dish you’re preparing.
You simply can’t go wrong with your homemade mango powder, whether prepared in the traditional way or you’ve used an appliance and dried it.
Tamarind, loomi, and anardana powder will provide you with the necessary replacement for amchoor’s sour-sweet fruit sensation.
Still, with their presence, you will add a handful of exotic notes to the dish.
Even though it is made from dried fruit rather than from the berries of shrubs, sumac, too, will add a note of fruity aroma to the dish, and its distinct sweetness could be a winning combination.
Anyone who does not like to experiment and combine spices can breathe a sigh of relief and indulge in tried-and-tested mixtures such as chaat masala and tajine.
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