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Iraqi Amba

This quick Iraqi amba recipe is perfect for when you don't have time to ferment. Savoury, sour, and spicy, you're going to want to put it on everything!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Cooling Time20 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Iraqi, Middle Eastern
Keyword: amba, iraqi, mango pickle, mango sauce, quick, sabich
Servings: 8 people
Author: The Elegant Economist


  • Medium saucepan


  • 1 large mango firm and unripe, if possible
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 small red or green chili (I used a serrano)
  • ½ tsp mustard seed
  • 1 tsp turmeric ground
  • ½ tsp dried fenugreek leaves or ¼ tsp ground fenugreek
  • ½ tsp ground cumin seed
  • ½ tsp ground coriander seed
  • ½ tsp Aleppo pepper
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ cup water (118ml / 4 fl oz)
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar


  • First, peel and cut your mango into 1/2 inch / 1cm pieces, place in a small bowl, add salt, then toss to combine. Set aside.
  • In a saucepan with a lid (I use Staub's Perfect Pan here), add your olive oil and heat on medium. Once the oil has warmed add your garlic and chili, and cook until the garlic is just starting to change colour.
  • Now, add your spices and coat with the oil - heating for about a minute until they are fragrant. If you need to coat with a little more oil to form a paste, that's fine.
  • Once your spices are fragrant, add your water and vinegar,stirring to combine, then finally add your mango and salt mixture (along with any juices in the bowl). Mix well, then pop the lid on and allow to gently simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until just caramelised. Take off the heat and allow to cool.


Makes roughly 6 ounces / 170g of amba. This will keep for a week in the fridge.