The Ultimate Guide to Amba Sauce: History, Uses, and DIY Recipes

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.

Contemporary Appeal

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.

Taste Profile

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.

Health Benefits

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.

Fusion Food

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)

Mango Variation

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.