The Fruity and Tangy Spices: Amchur and Anardana
I included amchur powder in this week’s recipe (Masala Baingan) and wanted to expand on it here, as well as talking about anardana powder as both are known for their tangy, sweet, fruity and flavor-enhancing properties.
Amchur (‘am’ meaning mango and ‘chur’ meaning grind) is made by drying unripe green mangoes and then grinding it down into a powder. It’s tangy and appetizing flavour makes any food delicious and moreish. It's actually what makes chaat masala so appetizing as amchur is one of the main ingredients. You can make your own amchur powder at home by sun drying or oven drying the mangoes and then grinding down to a powder, or get it at any South Asian store.
Anardana (‘anar’ meaning pomegranate and ‘dana’ meaning seeds) is made by grinding down dried pomegranate seeds into a powder and is used to add sourness and tang to food. You can make your own anardana powder at home by dry roasting pomegranate seeds and grounding them down to a powder, or purchase it at any South Asian store.
Both Amchur and Anardana can add sourness, tang and acidity to any recipe without the extra moisture that lemon or lime juice would have. This is great when it comes to appetizers like pakoras (bhajis), aloo tikkis (potato cakes) and kebabs that you don’t want falling apart. They both provide some of the health benefits of mango and pomegranate when the fruits are not in season. Feel free to try out these spices and add them to chutneys, sauces, drinks, smoothies, curries, vegetables, fritters, or any food that you want to give some extra tang!
Let me know any other or your favorite uses for amchur and anardana in the comments!
Just a brief disclaimer: I do not want to mislead you with the photos I took, but pomegranates are not in season where I am and so I had to make do with some apples just for aesthetics. And I know the mango should be unripe and green. And the pineapple leaf is just for fun!