Now you can make this Israeli condiment at home! Check out this easy Amba Sauce Recipe!
Amwhat? If you haven’t had amba, you’re missing out.
What is Amba Sauce?
It’s a staple Israeli condiment with Indian roots that came from Iraqi Jews (got all that?) made from pickled mangos that is delicious on shawarma or falafel or sabich or really anything. I even use it on my knishes! You can read more about the history of amba here.
I first had amba sauce in Israel on a sabich sandwich from a food stand. The fried eggplant sandwich topped with eggs, Israeli salad, tahini and more gets a kick from amba. It was love at first bite. A friend brought me some once from an Israeli market in LA, but it had been really hard to find in the US. Now they sell it at Trader Joes so you know it is hip). I haven’t tried their version, but this homemade is so easy I don’t have to!
How to Make Amba Sauce
Okay, I will admit this is not a totally traditional recipe, but it’s delicious and easy. Now traditionally, you would take the time to ferment the mangos, but I wanted amba now. Sorry, I’m impatient. So what was I to do? I came up with this quick and easy version of an amba recipe you can whip up in no time!
In this version I combined all the ingredients, simmered, and pureed (you can serve it chunky too). In place of mustard seeds, I added a little mustard at the end, but it’s good both ways! I’m telling you, I made this easy for you. You do you as long as you do amba.
What Does Amba Taste Like?
Amba sauce is a little tangy from the pickled mangos, a little sweet, a little earthy from the spices, and a touch spicy. There isn’t anything else like it. You’ll love it!
The spices are what make bring it all together:
- Cumin – warm and earthy
- Sumac – lemony deliciousness. A must in your spice cabinet!
- Cayenne – bringing the heat
- Fenugreek – herby and anise
Quick Amba Sauce Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 ripe mango diced
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon sumac
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne or more if you like it hot!
- 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek
- 1/4 teaspoon salt or more to taste
- 1/4 cup white or apple cider vinegar
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Heat a medium saucepan over medium-low heat and add the olive oil. Then add the garlic and saute for a few minutes until soft and fragrant, careful not to let it burn.
- Add the mango and all spices and stir while mashing the mango for 1 minute.
- Then add the vinegar, lemon juice, water and mustard and simmer while stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes.
- Let cool and serve chunky or blend in a blender or with an immersion blender. Keeps covered in the refrigerator for up to one week.
What are some uses for Amba Sauce?
Use it as a condiment for:
- Kafta Kebabs
- Grilled eggplant and other vegetables
- As a dip with chips
Here I’m using it as a knish dipper. You can’t go wrong!