Friday, April 16, 2010

making amchoor powder at home and a simple chhole recipe..



Amchoor is dry mango powder , a very intrinsic component of north Indian cooking ....any simple curry or stir fry can get an added zing with a finishing dash of amchoor powder. It is also used for chutneys and some pickles too , like the famous bhari mirch ka achar ( red Anaheim chilies stuffed with a hot n tangy spice mix n pickled ) .

My grandmother used to bring dried raw mangoes from the village which was actually dried when the raw mangoes were in surplus ( we had mango orchards back home)....raw mangoes were peeled and cut into 4 parts with the stone , just discarding the inner seed , it was dried and preserved for the whole year .........it is called 'aam ki kaliyan' as it has a bud like appearance after drying............(it is still available in some wholesale markets and some people buy it to get pure amchoor at home)......mangoes dried in this way was pounded in mortar n pestle to get amchoor powder, it was really labor intensive and the powder was a bit darker in color ( due to slow drying ) and was not very fine.......

A part of my brain belongs to my grandmother's generation and i am the one person from my whole extended family who tries to do such things at home in these modern times ...still.....

I make amchoor powder at home simply because the store bought one is not good enough , you will see the difference once you make it at home . I make a wet preserve of raw mangoes too for different recipes (especially chutneys and pickles) and will post later about that ...........

Making this powder is not at all labor intensive if you make a small quantity , a tiny quantity of this homemade powder lasts long ............i usually make powder of about a kilo of raw mangoes which yields about a cup of amchoor powder and this , to your surprise , is equivalent to 4 packs( 100 gm) of amchoor powder ...this quantity lasts the whole year in my kitchen and if you need more than this you can conveniently make it twice......it will be easier to handle and grind in smaller quantities.

This time i took just 500 gm of raw mangoes as my previous year amchoor had finished n i needed some for the chhole i was so craving ........yes making this amchoor is that easy especially in this Indian summer heat when the drying was done within a day of sun drying , fast drying the raw mangoes gets you lighter colored amchoor and is convenient as you have to sundry it just for a day.........see how....

Using a potato peeler , peel the green skin of mangoes and discard the peels.

Now using the same potato peeler , work on the white flesh and peel strips of mango flesh .......i used two large mangoes and it took about 10 minutes ....discard the stone.


Keep the strips in a sieve or a shallow basket and sun dry till the strips get completely dry , you may want to turn the strips in between for faster drying and to prevent the thin strips from sticking together.......... it will look like chips and will sound crisp after drying........


Stuff it all into the grinder of your mixie and whiz n zap.........awesome amchoor powder is ready...


Use this powder carefully.......you need only 1/4 the amount as compared to the store bought one..........isn't it easy and quick ...it takes only 10 minutes to peel and a minute to grind in the mixie.....and if you cannot sundry the strips like me I'll tell you another way to dry it........only if you ask me...ha ha...

And now the chhole I had been so craving for that I made the amchoor on a whim ....yes , normally I make the amchoor when the raw mangoes are a bit cheaper but this time it was bought for Rs.100 a kilo .....not regretting.....


This is the quickest version of chhole I make and it is such a simplistic recipe that you can have chhole kulche even for a breakfast , or for your kid's tiffin box........ it uses minimal spices and even lesser processing....
see how....

ingredients...

to be boiled into a pressure cooker ...
kabuli chana ( garbanzo beans ) soaked overnight 3 cups
chana daal ( split chickpeas ) 2 tbsp ....this is the trick to make the chhole with a thick n dryish gravy
water 2 cups
salt to taste 

for tempering ..
mustard oil 1 tsp
everyday curry masala powder
or a mix or coriander, cumin , black pepper and bay leaf powders in 2:1:1:1 ratio
red chilly powder 1-2 tsp according to taste

for finishing..
amchoor powder 1 tsp or according to taste
green coriander leaves chopped ( optional)
or mint powder ( i used this)

procedure...

Boil the first set of ingredients in the pressure cooker for 20 minutes after the pressure builds up ....or till the chick peas are very soft but not mushy ....

Heat oil in a tadka pan and dunk in all the powders and immediately remove from fire.......mix well and pour into the boiled chickpeas...

Sprinkle amchoor and coriander leaves or mint powder (or both ) and mix well so that the chana dall is mushed up and the chickpeas get coated with a thick slurry...........yummy...

Serve hot as you like it.........I can have it as it is ..... it's great as a chaat served with some paapdi and a topping of chutneys , or with baked or fried kulche.........with poori too...

Enjoy...

25 comments:

  1. You really have loads of patience dear. Why does the mango in the pic appear so blackish in colour? Is it a brightness problem or my eyes need a check, anyways..
    I liked ur regular masala, should try it in one of my curries some day...I am quite lazy these days...errgh..the chana is inviting me to finish it off. I am a little sensitive to mustard oil though S loves it and I never miss out ajwain in the chana for all the airy effect it produces. LOL. Keep up the good work dear, I am happy u are not lazy!

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  2. Thanks Pari and don't strain your eyes over the blackish mangoes , he he....i wanted to play with the light effects and sometimes i like these shady rustic pictures....n they are always straight out of the camera...never mind.
    as for ajwain i don't add ajwain to chhole n i think no punjabi would like that.....and when the chhole is so low fat n no frying of onion etc. it will never cause flatulence.........i've never experienced it at least.

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  3. I have never made amchoor powder at home but I am sure it tastes way way better than the store-bought variety! getting good raw mango here has always been a struggle.. I so much miss making all the green mango recipes.

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  4. I love the tart amchoor powder,fresh home made sounds tangy good :D

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  5. if you cannot sundry the strips like me i'll tell you another way to dry it........only if you ask me...

    So what's the secret behind this another way.. cool Sangeeta,meticulous in peeling,drying..

    We never use it our cooking, maybe I will try it. Not making amchoor powder--- but getting it from store -:)

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  6. he he...Davasena you caught it...
    just keep the strips in a sieve and place in the top shelf of your fridge and forget about it......after a week or may be more.....it will get dehydrated , take out whenever you have time and microwave for a couple of minutes , grind immediately to make powder........i do this to dry the mint and methi leaves...

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  7. Sangeeta, great method of explaining and the clicks look so tempting. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. Hey sangeeta, nothing can beat home made amchoor...my grandma use to make it and store it as whole not in powdered form...it tastes gr8 in dals,chutney,sabzi anything.

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  9. wow this looks so simple ,thnks for sharin this

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  10. Hey Sangeeta - love this, love anything 'from scratch'

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  11. Hey great easy recipe.. i love the chole picture, mine never look tht way... like the chana daal trick too... thanks

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  12. @CF yes chana daal gives a nice texture and the taste of this chhole is more like the street vendors.....they always make quick tasty things no !!

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  13. Oh! I loved that home made amchur prep..... I would love to try it myself too... & it is very simple & easy..... & that chole is a blessing for my rotis & paratas...... Thanks for the love u shared on me & my post.... I feel good that u r back & are able to gather yourself back.... Love forever & Hugs)))))

    Ash....
    (http://asha-oceanichope.blogspot.com/)

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  14. Dear sangeeta
    So you are using refrigeration to dry..it is a very good method by the way...but not good for bulk drying ,
    nice post and effective , u never know , what they sell in the market in the name of Amchur..

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  15. Thanks Dear Ushnish........
    yes only small quantity like this can be dried in the fridge but you got the point about the store bought amchoor.........it is always adulterated , sometimes as harmless as starch is added but it is not as strong an amchoor .

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  16. This looks easy. Amchor as an ingredient is something I was introduced to just a few years ago. In the South, we use tamarind, kokum, sol as souring agents. Green mangoes are used in dishes, but not amchoor.

    This looks so simple though, that I will have to try it. Have 4 green mangoes in the fridge right now which I was planning to make a prawn curry with, but this seems more tempting. Will let you know how it goes.

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  17. Thanks Kim......i'll be eager to know how did you like the process n the amchoor.
    the heat now a days is just fine to do this....if there is no ole...he he..

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  18. brilliant! i love amchoor, but never thought it could be done at home. love this!

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  19. hi sangeeta, your version sounds nice.....I too make this kind but no amchoor(DD gets sour throat sometime with it, so I avoid it)....I usually makes this style with imli & for snack or chats only & for thickness I just grind couple of spoons of boiled chickpeas only but will surely try chana dal once......as for doing stuff at home from scratch, I'm with u on that, though sometime because of time crunch I can't but 90% of the time it's from scratch & for rest of the 10% of time thanks to DH he won't let me use readymade stuff..ha...

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  20. I did not know you had two more blogs. Amazing.... I just went through a couple of recipes and posts on herbs and aloe vera on the both the blogs. Its great.

    I did not know how amchur powder is made at home. I always buy the ready made ones. thanks for posting this recipe. may be next year, when raw mangoes come the season, I may try making amchur powder at home.

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  21. I am so making this. This is super easy. Its sunny here today. Last two days were raining. So I will ask about the 'secret method' if its raining tomorrow.

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  22. I am definitely trying the amchoor powder.....

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  23. I am definitely going to try the amchoor powder

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  24. Going to try it here in North Queensland as well. Trees full of mangoes, have frozen and dried flesh, made chutney, mango salsa, and also love Amchoor and cannot buy it in the rural area where I live. Besides, I also prefer to make my own food so this is great. Thank you.

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  25. Going to try it here too. So many mangoes at the moment and I've frozen, dried, made chutney, salsa, juice and love the taste of Amchoor and love to make my own things so this is great. Thank you

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