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Although this is posted in response to a recipe request, I'm also posting this for myself, since it really is time I started making this yummy, spicy sauce. I normally do not like mangoes, but I do like amba, espcially drizzled on my felafel. This recipe comes from one of my Hebrew cookbooks, Matanot Mehamitbach (Gifts from the Kitchen) by Gil Hovav, one of Israel's foremost foodies, translation courtesy of me ;-) Just beware, if you injest even average quantities of this stuff, the fenugreek will add a certain je n'ai c'est quoi to your body odor. Fenugreek is good for you, but not in every way... Cooking time is also sunning time.
- 10 green mangoes
- 5 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons corn oil
- 250 g mustard seeds
- 1⁄2 cup cumin seed (whole, not ground)
- 1⁄4 cup dried red pepper (about 10 tiny ones)
- 2 tablespoons ground fenugreek
- 1⁄4 cup hot paprika
- 2 tablespoons turmeric
- 2 heads garlic, peeled and finely chopped (yes, two HEADS, not cloves)
- 1 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.
- Salt well and place the slices into a large jar. Close the jar and place it 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, saving the liquid.
- Allow the mango slices to dry, preferably in the sun, for 3 to 4 hours.
- Heat the 2 tablespoons of corn oil in a pot, and add all the ingredients up to (and not including) the garlic. Cook and constantly stir for a few seconds, until the spices begin to pop and make tiny explosive noises.
- Boil the mango liquid (you did remember to save it, didn't you?) and add this to the heated spice mixture.
- Add the mango 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.
- Divide the mixture among 4 one-cup jars (which have been sterilized).
- Cover with the corn oil and seal.
- Amba is delicious with felafel, meat, fish, and even mixed into rice dishes.
- The amba will keep for at least six months.