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Amchur, a pale gray to light yellow powder made from dried unripe mangos, is used as a spice in northern India for its subtle, tart, and slightly resinous flavor and souring capabilities. The name means mango (am) powder (chur). To make amchur, the fruit of an unripe mango is cut in slices, dried, and ground to a powder. A bit of ground turmeric is often blended in, giving the powder a yellow tint. Amchur is used for a hint of tartness or when the dark brown color of tamarind, another Indian souring spice, is undesirable. Amchur is mostly used to season vegetables, but it can also be found in spice mixtures for tandoor-barbecued meat, where it also serves as a tenderizer.


Substitute amchur for lemon juice in marinades, especially for fish, seafood, vegetables, or chicken, using 1 teaspoon amchur for 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Use amchur to flavor vegetable curries, chutneys, marinades, dipping sauces, soups, and stews.