Amba and falafel are a classic combination. (Photo: michjenkins/Twitter)

While I was researching Israeli cuisine, I stumbled upon this pickled mango sauce. Originating in India (hence the Indian name for mango), amba sauce has been adopted and adapted into Israeli cuisine. Amba sauce is served over sabich, shawarma, falafel and any number of Mediterranean dishes.

You can find recipes online that call for both fresh and dried mangos, but I went with authenticity here and pickled my own green mangoes. And because green mangoes are a bit hard to find, I bought unripe (read: green) mangoes and it worked fine.

The Mediterranean spices were an absolute ball – I raided my local farmers market for varieties I had never used before, but I am hooked, and will be adding this new collection to many sauces and dishes going forward. I loved the concept of popping the spices in oil and releasing the fragrance and taste through heat. This recipe is a keeper, but even better, it will introduce you to a whole new world of tastes.


PrintPrep5 days Cook Time30 minutes Yield2 cups


  • 2 mangoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1-2 tbsp salt
  • ¼ cup grapeseed or olive oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seed
  • 1 tsp ground fenugreek
  • 2 tsp cumin seed
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp hot paprika
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar or honey
  • 1 head garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ – 1 cup water


  • Coat mango pieces completely with salt. Place into jar, and set out in the sun for 5 days.
  • Drain and reserve liquid. Spread mango pieces out onto parchment paper to dry for 3-4 hours (this can be done in an oven on warm.)
  • Heat oil in small pot. Add spices and stir for a few minutes until you hear popping noises.
  • Stir 2-3 more minutes, and then add garlic and brown sugar. Stir 2 – 3 minutes, and add mango, water and reserved juices. Stir to coat.
  • Turn off heat, and use immersion blender to create a smooth sauce. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if needed.
  • Store in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to a week.

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