September 24, 2009

Exotic Ingredient: Mango Powder

Because I love Indian so much, I often find myself wandering over to Lisa's Kitchen to try some of her delicious recipes. There you will find lots of Indian-inspired vegetarian dishes, many of them spicy, and most of them wonderful. I found the following recipe there and it immediately caught my eye because (a) it has chickpeas in it (yummy), and (b) it calls for mango powder, AKA amchur powder.

Long ago, while walking down the Indian aisle of the Oriental market we often shop, I found a bottle of this mysterious blonde-colored powder. Intrigued by the thought of powdered mango, I bought some. It is made from unripe mangoes, dried and powdered. It has a unique flavor. I have used it once or twice sparingly, but this dish really piles it on. This dish is especially refreshing to me because many Indian dishes start to taste the same after awhile, and I've been in a "curry and chili with some kind of bean" rut lately. Yes, this is still technically a curry with some kind of bean, but hey, no chili!

If you are having trouble finding amchur (sometimes amchoor) powder, you can always get it from that great global marketplace called Amchur (Dry Mango) Powder 3.5oz

I only recreate Lisa's dish, not to steal her thunder, but because it was so delicious. I also made a few teensy changes. The original recipe is found here.

The part I changed was the addition of cardamom pods and a whole cinnamon stick. I'm not one to snub my nose at tradition, but I don't like putting things like this into dishes. You have to take them out, otherwise a mouthful of cinnamon bark or cardamom pod is not very pleasant. But it is also quite difficult to fish these things out of a sauce such as in this recipe. So I prefer to simply add a small amount of powdered cardamom and cinnamon instead. I also removed the onion garnish, as I can't eat raw onions and feel the flavor is perfect without it.

So here is Lisa's Chickpeas with Mango Powder, with tiny edits by yours truly.

Chickpeas with Mango Powder


1¼ c dried chickpeas
2 T olive oil
1 t cumin seeds
pinch of ground cardamom
pinch of ground cinnamon
1 t ground cumin
2 T mango powder (amchur)
1 T ground coriander
½ t of cayenne pepper
½ t turmeric
1 t salt
1 14-oz can of diced tomatoes, drained or 2 medium ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
generous handful of fresh parsley


1. Soak the chickpeas in enough water to cover overnight. Drain, and cook in a pressure cooker according to directions (about 15 minutes), or simmer in a pot of water for 1-2 hours until soft. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid, drain and set the beans aside.

2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. When hot, add the cumin seeds. Stir and fry for roughly 1 minute. Now add the ground spices, stir and pour in the tomatoes, and add the salt. Cook, uncovered, stirring often, until the tomatoes begin to thicken up (roughly 5 - 10 minutes.

3. Now add the chickpeas, the reserved cooking liquid and half of the chopped parsley. Cover the skillet partially and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened (roughly 20 minutes).

4. Serve, garnished with some of the remaining parsley.

No comments:

Post a Comment