Citizens, Amba (Arabic: عمبة, Hebrew: עמבה) is a tangy mango pickle condiment popular in Middle Eastern cuisine (particularly Iraqi and Israeli cuisines).
It is typically made of mangoes, vinegar, salt, mustard, turmeric, chili and fenugreek, similarly to savory mango chutneys.
The name “amba” seems to have been derived from the Sanskrit word “amra” and the mango is itself a native of India.
Amba is frequently used in Iraqi cuisine, especially as a spicy sauce to be added to fish dishes, falafel, kubbah, kebabs, and eggs.
Amba is popular in Israel, where it was introduced by Iraqi Jews in the 1950s and 1960s. It is often served as a dressing on sabikh and as an optional topping on falafel, meorav yerushalmi, kebab, salads and shawarma sandwiches.
Similarly, Assyrians typically use amba along with falafel, too.
Citizens, this is a zippy and delicious condiment that is well worth trying! 🙂
Battle on – The GeneralissimoPrint
The Hirshon Iraqi Amba Sauce – عمبة and עמבה
- Total Time: 0 hours
- 2 1/2 green mangoes
- 1 1/4 tablespoons salt
- 1/2 tablespoon corn oil
- 2 1/2 tablespoons mustard seeds
- 2 tablespoons cumin seed (whole, not ground)
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander seed
- 1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper flakes
- 1/2 tablespoon ground fenugreek
- 1 tablespoon hot paprika
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 1/2 head garlic, peeled and finely chopped (HEAD, not cloves)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1/4 cup corn oil (more or less, for finishing)
- Wash the mangoes well and cut them up (including the peel) into slices the size of your pinky finger. Coat with the 1 ¼ tablespoons of salt, and place the slices into a large jar. Close the jar and shake it to evenly distribute the salt.
- Place the jar in a sunny spot for 4 to 5 days to release all the liquid in the fruit. At the end of this time the mangoes should be a very light, yellow color.
- Drain the mangoes, but make sure to save the liquid. Allow the mango slices to dry, preferably in the sun, for 3 to 4 hours.
- Heat the ½ tablespoon of corn oil in a pot, and add all the spices. Cook and constantly stir for a few seconds, until the whole spices begin to pop and make tiny explosive noises. Remove from heat.
- In a separate small pot, boil the saved mango liquid, vinegar and honey, then add it to the heated spice mixture.
- Add the mango pieces and the chopped garlic. Stir, and continue cooking for 5 minutes on a low flame. Make sure the mixture does not dry out too much.
- Remove from the flame and let cool completely. At this point you can leave it chunky, or use a blender to purée it smooth.
- Pour the mixture into a clean container with a lid and cover with the remaining corn oil, and then seal. The amba will keep in the fridge for at least six months.
- Prep Time: 0 hours
- Cook Time: 0 hours
- Category: Recipes
- Calories: 355.91 kcal
- Sugar: 35.95 g
- Sodium: 598.84 mg
- Fat: 19.08 g
- Saturated Fat: 2.48 g
- Trans Fat: 0.0 g
- Carbohydrates: 47.85 g
- Fiber: 7.04 g
- Protein: 4.96 g
- Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
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Hi there – New to this magnificent site and trying my hand at this sauce. Never worked with fenugreek before. I ground the seeds in a coffee grinder. They are still just slightly grainy – should they be like a soft powder?
Thanks a bunch!
First off, thank you so much for the kind appraisal of the site Citizen Irene! 🙂
Fenugreek is very difficult to grind to a fine powder, so a little graininess is to be expected, never fear!
Hi! Really nice recipes in here!
I tried to make this but when I opened the jar, the mangoes were super smelly and the liquid was a little bit bubbly. Do you know why could that be?
Thanks! Keep it up!
Sounds like you got a fermented jar – throw them away and go with a fresh jar!
Am I understanding correctly, leave the peel on and then just puree once they are dried? Thanks!
Thank you!! I will update on the finished product! 🙂
Looking forward to it, Citizen! 🙂
If I boil mango and add the rest, what is it?