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M is for mango powder

I've seen it crop up occasionally in cookbooks, and thought I'd take my 'alphabet of the new ingredients' as my cue to cook with it for the first time myself.

From what little research I've done, I've found out that mango powder is a bit sweet, a bit sour, and if you can't get it, you could always sub it for lemon juice.

OK, so now you're about as up to speed on mango powder as me.

But what do you do with it? Apparently, it crops up a lot in Indian food but, for my first foray into mango powder, I didn't go to my go-to cookbook, The Asian Vegan Kitchen. I went instead to my go-to-every-now-and-again cookbook, Terre a Terre.

I picked the Channa Chaat (or spuds and chick peas) for my first mango powder experiment. In true Terre a Terre style, the recipe comes with all sorts of flouncy bits and pieces on the side - I tried to make the basmati rice muffins that come with the channa chaat, but six rubbery, wrinkly rice pucks later, I abandoned the attempt and just cooked up the chick peas and spuds with a bit of common-or-garden rice.

Here's how it looked:

I love a good curry - and I really was surprised at how good a curry this was!

But could I taste the mango powder? Not so much. What I could taste was the black salt, sulphury and a bit farty, in the background. While I may have been a bit suspicious in the past, I think I'm rapidly becoming a black salt convert.

But mango powder needed another test, away from the overpowering influence of black salt - step forward Spiced Zucchini and Potatoes from my-favouritest-cookbook-ever, The Asian Vegan Kitchen.

The recipe's got a riot of spices - cayenne, cumin, coriander, turmeric, asofetida, as well as the all important mango powder. Having made up a big batch, I still couldn't pick the mango powder's contribution out from in amongst all the other spicy goodness.

But maybe, I reasoned, that's what it's all about - maybe mango powder is the winsome unknown picking up the Best Supporting Actress Oscar, not the megawatt star grabbing the gong for Best Picture.

So, with that in mind, my VeganMoFo award for Best Newcomer in the spice category goes to...

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  1. I have had mango powder once, I think. A friend, who is Indian-Aussie, had it on some pear slices. It was strange but good. Andy and my friend's partner didn't like it. Maybe it's a girl thing?

  2. I had never heard of mango powder before and I'm surprised to hear it can be subbed with lemon juice.

    Your curry of black salt is making me curious. I love black salt, but I only add it to tofu omelets, tofu salads, etc.

  3. Ok, gotta find some mango powder. Love your blog!

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  5. The curry looks so good it's making me hungry — and making me wonder what happened to my mango powder. I know I had some.

  6. Your curries look really good! I haven't used mango powder much and don't really notice it's flavour when it's mixed with other spices but the curries I've made with it are generally really good ones.

  7. wow! how is it that I'm only just discovering your blog? I love it! I use mango powder pretty often in my Indian cooking. I think you're right that it is usually an accent among many flavors, rather than a really dominant flavor. I have Asian Vegan Kitchen, and I've NEVER used it - thanks for the reminder!!

  8. I don't think I've seen mango powder anywhere and I don't know how I'd go adding it to savoury meals but I have to say both of these look yummo!

  9. Yup, the only time I've ever used mango powder is in Indian food, and seldomly at that. I've never found it terribly noticeable in flavor either - though I've made my favorite channa masala recipe with and without it, and it's still awesome, but maybe not quite as awesome. Perhaps it's all in my head!


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