Spicing It Up: The Role Of Amba Sauce In Middle Eastern Cuisine

If you want to add something tangy but sweet to your food, try this famous mango pickle. It is an essential and beloved condiment in Middle Eastern cuisine.

Amba sauce is a spicy condiment that has been a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine for centuries. It is a tangy-flavoured pickle made of mangoes in vinegar, salt, and spices such as fenugreek, mustard, cumin, and chilli. Let’s learn more about its origin and importance in Middle Eastern cuisine.

Origins Of This Mango Pickle

The origin of this tangy pickle has yet to be known. However, it is believed that it has its roots in India and was introduced to the Middle East by Jewish immigrants who settled in Iraq and then spread to other parts of the region, including Israel.

The history dates back to the 19th century when Baghdadi Jews migrated from India to Iraq. They brought with them their love for pickling. Mangoes were abundant in India; even now, India has lush mango forests.

Pickling is a popular way to preserve fruits like mangoes, apples, and pears. The Baghdadi Jews adapted the recipe to suit their taste, adding more spices and vinegar to make it tangier and spicier. They named this sauce “amba” after the Hindi word for mango, “aam.”

Its Role In Middle Eastern Cuisine.

The amba sauce is now an essential part of Iraqi cuisine. It has been used to enhance the flavours of various dishes, such as falafel, shawarma, sabich (a sandwich made with fried eggplant, hard-boiled eggs, and hummus), and grilled meats. It is also a dipping sauce for french fries and other fried foods. Iraqi Jews often took this with them when they emigrated to Israel, where it also became a popular condiment in the local cuisine.

This sauce is an excellent combination of sweet, spicy, and sour. The pickled mangoes have a tangy and sour flavour, while the spices add heat to the sauce. Together, these elements make a trendy mix. The texture varies since the recipe can have many variations. Usually, the surface is smooth and slightly chunky.

People in the Middle East love this sauce since it adds flavour to almost any dish. Whether you’re eating a simple falafel sandwich or a complex grilled fish dish, a dollop of this sweet and spicy sauce will take the flavour to the next level.

Another reason for its popularity is its versatility. It can be used as a marinade, a dipping sauce, or a topping for sandwiches and wraps. It is also used to add flavour to rice dishes and stews.


Due to its growing popularity, it has become more widely available outside the Middle East. It can be found in speciality grocery stores or online. Many people also make their sauce at home and love it because they can adjust the tanginess and spice to suit their taste. There are some online sellers too. You should always check the ingredients and buy only good sauce.

Stefan Jadiel

The author Stefan Jadiel