If you cook Indian food, you may have encountered amchur powder while reading a recipe.
Amchur is an interesting spice with a sour and tart taste like lemon juice.
This ingredient is made from dried green mangoes and gives Indian dishes such as bhel puri (a mix of various snacks) and chaat masala (a mix of various spices) a sour and tangy flavor.
However, what do you do if you can’t find amchur powder? Is it possible to substitute for this ingredient?
Various substitutes can be used when cooking with amchur powder if this ingredient is unavailable.
The five ingredients listed below are examples of items that may work well as a substitute for amchur powder:
What is Amchur Powder?
Amchur powder is a seasoning made from dried green or unripe mangos.
Its tart and sour flavor make it the perfect addition to many different foods and dishes.
Amchur powder can substitute for lemon juice, tamarind, and vinegar in cooking due to its similar acidic taste.
It has also been described as tasting like a combination of lemons, pineapples, and turmeric.
The benefit of using amchur powder to substitute for lemon juice is that it adds flavor without adding extra sugar to your dish or drink.
It can be used in sweet and savory dishes and drinks like chai and smoothies.
It is also gluten-free and vegan, making it a good option for people with dietary restrictions or preferences.
At first glance, amchur and lemon juice may appear the same since they both add sourness to your dish.
However, if you’ve ever tried cooking with either of these ingredients, you know that there is a major difference in taste.
That is because amchur tends to be sourer than lemon juice, and it also has a strong flavor that is hard to miss in any dish (whereas certain ingredients can overpower the taste of lemon juice).
The 5 Best Substitutes for Amchur Powder
If you can’t find amchur powder where you are looking, or if you don’t want to purchase it because of its steep price, several alternatives are available.
Here are five substitutes for amchur that will ensure that your dish still tastes delicious:
1 – Lemon Juice
If your recipe calls for amchur powder and all you have is lemons, this substitution will taste great.
It’s a great replacement for amchur if your dish or drink needs a sour flavor and doesn’t include pineapples or turmeric.
If you want to substitute lemon juice for amchur, keep in mind that it can have a strong citrusy flavor, so it may not be appropriate for certain dishes.
The best part about this substitution is that it is very close to the texture of amchur.
Furthermore, you can also use this in place of tamarind since you are adding a sour component.
There are many dishes where lemon juice works better than amchur powder or tamarind.
If you’re trying to make something sweet with lemon juice as a substitute for amchur, you’ll need to add extra sugar.
2 – Lime Juice
Lime juice is a key component in many South Asian dishes as it adds a bright and refreshing flavor.
In addition, lime juice has been used as an alternative for amchur powder in Thailand.
This substitution is very similar to lemon juice.
It can be used as a substitute for amchur if your recipe includes citrus fruit and doesn’t include pineapple or turmeric.
The good thing about this substitution is that it’s probably the closest flavor to amchur in terms of texture and taste.
However, there is a key difference in aroma.
Some people may not like how much citrusy lime juice smells compared to amchur powder.
3 – Tamarind Concentrate
Tamarind is an ingredient that has been used for hundreds of years in India.
Its sour, sweet, and tangy flavor has made it a staple in many dishes, especially South Asian cuisine.
Tamarind makes such a great substitute for amchur because its strong taste can overpower other flavors.
This works well if your recipe needs an extra sour or sweet component.
Tamarind concentrate is made by boiling the tamarind pod until it becomes a dark brown, concentrated paste with a syrupy texture.
It’s really easy to find in stores, and you can also buy it online.
The taste of tamarind is very similar to amchur, which makes it a great option if you are unable to find amchur powder.
Also, the price of tamarind is comparable to amchur, making it more budget-friendly.
4 – Anardana
Anardana is a type of pomegranate that has been dried and then powdered.
This fruit is native to India and can be found at most Indian grocery stores or bought online.
Compared to the other substitutes for amchur powder listed in this article, anardana is one of the priciest options (though it is still cheaper than amchur).
However, one serving of anardana is much more potent than any other substitute.
Anardana has a very strong taste that can overpower your dish if you aren’t careful.
Also, many people prefer to avoid using this as an alternative for amchur because it adds too much sweetness to a recipe.
The flavor of anardana is not quite as sour as amchur, but it has a similar texture.
However, the main difference in this substitute is in its strong smell and taste, which can be considered either good or bad depending on your preferences.
5 – Loomi
Loomi is dried limes that have been sun-dried.
They are often used in Pakistani and Afghani cuisine, known as loomi or limoo ammoolee.
These can be found online or at an Indian grocery store.
Compared to the other substitutes listed here, loomi is the most difficult to find.
This is considered the best alternative for amchur if you look for an equivalent in taste, texture, and aroma.
Loomi powder has a sweet flavor that works well with dishes like kebabs and biryani.
The downside of this substitute is that it’s hard to find, which means you may only be able to use it for specific dishes.
Amchur powder is typically used in South Asian cooking to add a sour or tangy taste, similar to lemon or lime juice.
However, if you cannot find amchur powder at your local grocery store, you can use these substitutes instead.
Depending on your recipe, you can use lime juice or tamarind concentrate to replace amchur powder.
If your dish needs an extra sour component, lemon juice works well too.
Also, if your dish needs to be both sweet and sour, you can try anardana or loomi.