Amba sauce, the vibrant condiment hailing from the heart of the Middle East, has been gaining worldwide attention for its unique flavour and versatility. This guide will take you on a journey from its humble beginnings to the diverse culinary applications it offers today.
History of Amba Sauce
The Origin Story
Amba sauce has a rich history, tracing back to the Baghdadi Jews of the early 19th century. The name ‘Amba’ is derived from ‘amba,’ a term in Indian dialects for mangoes, hinting towards the spice trade routes between India and the Middle East.
Middle Eastern Influence
The sauce’s popularity soared when it became a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine, specifically Iraqi and Israeli street food, where it is typically served over falafel, shawarma, and sabich.
Today, Amba sauce has crossed regional boundaries and found its place in global kitchens, adored for its unique flavour that adds a zesty twist to any dish.
Understanding Amba Sauce
Primarily, Amba sauce is made with pickled mangoes, vinegar, and a blend of spices, including turmeric, mustard, fenugreek, and chilli, contributing to its tangy, spicy, and slightly sweet taste.
Amba’s tangy, sour, spicy, and mildly sweet flavours create a complex and balanced profile. Its intense flavour elevates the simplest dishes, making it a versatile addition to your culinary arsenal.
Being rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and fibre from mangoes, Amba sauce can boost digestion and heart health, apart from imparting great taste.
Uses of Amba Sauce
In Traditional Dishes
While traditionally slathered over Israeli sandwiches and Middle Eastern street foods, Amba is also great as a condiment with grilled meats or spicy dip.
Its tangy spice notes have allowed Amba sauce to transition into fusion foods. It’s a great topping on burgers, fries, or even added to your favourite pasta!
Outside the Kitchen
Beyond the culinary realm, Amba sauce is also a unique ingredient in cocktails for an unconventional twist!
DIY Amba Sauce Recipes
Traditional Amba Sauce
Making Amba at home requires a simple blend of ingredients and patience as the mixture ferments over a few days. (Recipe here)
A mango-based Amba sauce can provide a delightful variation for those who prefer a sweeter note. (Recipe here)
Spicy Amba Sauce
For spice enthusiasts, extra chillies can be added to your homemade Amba sauce for a fiery kick. (Recipe here)
How to Store Amba Sauce
Store Amba sauce in a clean, airtight container and refrigerate. The flavour intensifies over time, improving with age.
Where to Buy Amba Sauce
Numerous online stores offer a variety of Amba sauces from different regions. Be sure to check the reviews before making a purchase.
Speciality grocery stores or Middle Eastern markets typically carry Amba sauce in their condiments aisle.
Amba sauce holds a realm of culinary possibilities, whether you’re an experienced chef or a curious food enthusiast. Its rich history, diverse usage, and compelling flavour profile make it indispensable to modern global cuisine.