Zesty Iraqi Pickled Mango (Amba)


Discover the tangy and spicy delight of Amba, a traditional Iraqi pickled mango condiment that adds a burst of flavor to any dish. This vibrant and aromatic relish, made with unripe mangoes and a blend of spices, is perfect for enhancing the taste of sandwiches, meats, and even salads. Bring a touch of Iraqi culinary tradition to your kitchen with this easy-to-make, versatile pickle.

Zesty Iraqi Pickled Mango (Amba)

Preparation and Cooking Times

  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes (plus 24 hours for pickling)

Servings and Serving Size

  • Servings: 10
  • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons

Nutritional Information (per serving)

  • Calories: 30 kcal
  • Protein: 0.5g
  • Fat: 0.2g
  • Carbohydrates: 7g
  • Fiber: 1g


  • Unripe mangoes: 3 large (about 900g)
  • Water: 500ml (2 cups)
  • Salt: 2 tablespoons (30g)
  • Turmeric powder: 1 teaspoon (5g)
  • Fenugreek seeds: 1 teaspoon (5g)
  • Mustard seeds: 1 tablespoon (15g)
  • Cumin seeds: 1 teaspoon (5g)
  • Coriander seeds: 1 teaspoon (5g)
  • Chili powder: 1 teaspoon (5g)
  • White vinegar: 250ml (1 cup)
  • Garlic cloves: 4, minced (20g)

Method of Preparation

  1. Peel the unripe mangoes and cut them into thin slices or small cubes.
  2. In a large bowl, dissolve the salt in the water. Add the mango slices and let them soak for 30 minutes.
  3. In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and coriander seeds until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Allow them to cool slightly, then grind them into a coarse powder using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.
  4. In a small saucepan, combine the white vinegar, turmeric powder, chili powder, minced garlic, and the ground spice mixture. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Drain the mango slices and pat them dry with a paper towel. Place the mango slices in a clean, dry jar.
  6. Pour the hot pickling mixture over the mango slices, ensuring they are fully submerged. Seal the jar tightly and let it cool to room temperature.
  7. Once cooled, refrigerate the jar and allow the mangoes to pickle for at least 24 hours before using.

Tips for Culinary Success

  • Use firm, unripe mangoes for the best texture and flavor.
  • Adjust the amount of chili powder to your desired spice level.
  • Ensure the mango slices are fully submerged in the pickling liquid to prevent spoilage.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Q: How long does Amba last? A: Amba can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Always use a clean spoon to avoid contamination.
  2. Q: Can I use other types of vinegar? A: Yes, you can use apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar for a slightly different flavor.
  3. Q: Is Amba gluten-free? A: Yes, Amba is naturally gluten-free.

Spice up your culinary creations with Amba, the zesty Iraqi pickled mango that brings a unique twist to your favorite dishes. Enjoy the perfect balance of tangy, spicy, and aromatic flavors that make every bite unforgettable. Whether you're serving it with meats, sandwiches, or salads, Amba is sure to become a staple in your kitchen. Embrace the vibrant tastes of Iraqi cuisine and share this delightful condiment with friends and family.