Quickie Amba (Pickled Mango Condiment) – Recipe

Quickie Amba Pickled Mango Condiment

A few weeks ago, I visited Shauna and Dan on Vashon to shoot a video about the sabich recipe in my cookbook. Sabich is an absurdly delicious Iraqi-Jewish eggplant sandwich with fried eggplant, Israeli salad, hummus, tahina, hardboiled egg, cucumber pickle, and amba. Since those guys are gluten-free, we ate it as a salad instead, which I might even like better. But I hear they might have a gluten-free pita coming in their next book, so stay tuned. We had an absolutely lovely day, sitting on their all-too-relaxing patio soaking up the sun, talking food and blogs and kids and life, and cooking and eating, and oh yeah, shooting a video. (I’ll let you know when it is up on their site.)

But what is amba, you ask? Well, it is a sort of pickled mango condiment, and it isn’t all that easy to find. In fact, I’ve seen it only once in America, and I didn’t have any on hand for the video. So I thought I’d try to come up with a reasonable substitute, and actually I like this version better than the original – so much so that I’m going to put it on the cookbook errata page.

In fact, this is well worth making for any Middle Eastern meal. I used it the other night to complement a simple rice and chickpea pilaf, and I’d happily eat it with these chickpea cakes or even a tagine. It uses preserved lemon and harissa but you should have them in your kitchen anyhow, they are a whole lot of delicious in small packages. I’ve linked products from Mustapha’s Moroccan because I use them and like them a lot.

Quickie Amba (Pickled Mango Condiment)
Vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and kosher 
Makes enough to serve at a meal for 6, easily

  • 1/2 mango, finely diced (slightly underripe is better, but not rock hard)
  • 1/4 preserved lemon, pips removed, minced (check ingredients if you need gluten free)
  • 1 teaspoon harissa  (check ingredients if you need gluten free)
  1. Toss together all ingredients. Taste and add more lemon or harissa if you think it needs it. Add salt if needed. Serve at room temperature; keeps in refrigerator for a few days.


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Posted by Michael Natkin on Tuesday, September 18th, 2012 in Gluten-Free or modifiable, Recipes, Sauces and Condiments, Vegan or Modifiable, Weblogs.

12 Responses to “Quickie Amba (Pickled Mango Condiment) – Recipe”

  1. Reply
    September 18, 2012 at 6:52 am #

    I grew up in Israel and Amba may be my favorite condiment (well, a close second to horseradish). It’s great on sandwiches (instead of mustard) and I also eat it with a simple Moroccan recipe that I make– meatballs, sweet peas (canned), onions and powder Israeli chicken broth (by Osem).

    I tend to find it in specialty Israeli / Middle Eastern stores… there is usually a few in every major city.

    I am excited to try this recipe.

  2. Reply
    September 18, 2012 at 7:41 am #

    Homemade amba ,wow:) I like to add amba sometimes to salad dressings.

  3. Reply
    September 18, 2012 at 9:09 am #

    It’s my first time to see this recipe, but I was drawn to “Mango” soon as I saw it as a main ingredient. Delish! Thanks for sharing, Michael!

  4. Reply
    September 18, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    MMM… in Hawai’i, we eat pickled mango off the ying yang. It’s a tad tart but sweet too. We make it with vinegar, fresh (slightly under ripe) mangoes, and li hing mui powder. It’s a childhood favorite!

    • Reply
      September 18, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

      Lin hing mui powder! I just had to google that, and I’d estimate it will be less than a day before I own some! Sounds right up my alley. If you’ve had umeboshi plum, is the taste similar?

  5. Reply
    September 18, 2012 at 10:42 am #

    They love pickled mango in Madagascar, too! In northwestern Mada they call it manga achard and it’s the same except for using green mangoes and adding some sliced onion to the lemon brine.

  6. Reply
    September 19, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

    delicious post one of my favourite way to eat mangos pickled we call mango amba

  7. Reply
    September 22, 2012 at 1:20 am #

    This sounds like an awesome recipe! YUM! Thanks for sharing. 🙂 I am a vegetarian, but my hubby and kids are not. I always have to bring out the best dishes if I want to all of us to go meatless for a meal. This recipe will be very popular I am sure!

    I also blog about the meatless diet and energized life at http://www.thelivelyvegetarian.blogspot.com if you are interested.

    Thanks again!

  8. Reply
    September 24, 2012 at 6:30 am #

    Amba-Haldi is also the Gujarati (Indian) word for a fresh turmeric pickle. Further, Amba is the Gujarati word for mango. Indians love their own version of mango pickle – like Gor-Keri or Methiyu!

  9. Reply
    September 24, 2012 at 6:42 am #

    Wow! I know of various Indian mango pickles but didn’t know the word came from Gujarat. I assume there is an ancient trade route story in there somewhere.

  10. Reply
    April 15, 2013 at 9:01 am #

    You can get it in any Israeli grocery store at major cities like Miami, New York, LA.

  11. Reply
    July 31, 2015 at 6:25 am #

    I’m Iraqi Jewish and growing up, umba was always on the table for our cultural dishes. I get mine from my local Turkish mini market. Love it. I’ll give this recipe a go some day

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