Amba (A Spicy and Savory Mango Condiment)

Total Time
120hrs 30mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 120 hrs

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.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Wash the mangoes well and cut them up (including the peel) into slices the size of your pinky finger.
  2. 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.
  3. Drain, saving the liquid.
  4. Allow the mango slices to dry, preferably in the sun, for 3 to 4 hours.
  5. 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.
  6. Boil the mango liquid (you did remember to save it, didn't you?) and add this to the heated spice mixture.
  7. Add the mango and the chopped garlic.
  8. Stir, and continue cooking for 5 minutes on a low flame. Make sure the mixture does not dry out too much.
  9. Remove from the flame and let cool completely.
  10. Divide the mixture among 4 one-cup jars (which have been sterilized).
  11. Cover with the corn oil and seal.
  12. Amba is delicious with felafel, meat, fish, and even mixed into rice dishes.
  13. The amba will keep for at least six months.


Most Helpful

Yum! Thanks for posting - this seems to be pretty unique on the internet, the handful of other recipes are much simpler. I took a giant shortcut, myself, though, and though I'm sure the steeping and drying really make it special, I LOVED it on my sabich from Herbivoracious I used a regular, ripe mango from the supermarket, and I minced it and added it to the sauteed spices. I love recipes that really work my spice collection... :) Thanks again Mirj, keep posting!!

bearwacket October 18, 2012

Thank you for posting this! I had amba on falafel once and fell in love with it, and could never find a recipe (and had to make mango chutney instead, the closest substitution I could think of). Your recipe looks delicious, I will definitely try making this soon.

Sephardi Kitchen August 05, 2008

I love this on my falefel!! It wasnt easy to find the fenegriek and green mangos, but im glad i did

mplay July 23, 2008

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