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...