Chicken-Amba (Mango Condiment) Sandwiches with Lime Mayonnaise

September 9, 2014

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: Having become a big fan of sour-spicy mango-based amba sauce, I wanted to find a use for it. Cold roast chicken sandwiches with amba hit the yum-spot. creamtea

Food52 Review: WHO: Creamtea is an authority on Middle Eastern cooking (and has 22 Community Picks under her belt).
WHAT: A very good use for leftover roast chicken (and a pickled mango condiment to put on it, and on everything).
HOW: Spice mangoes (salted and left to sit overnight) with a flurry of Middle Eastern spices, then use it generously on a cold chicken sandwich with lime-cumin mayonnaise.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Any roast chicken will yield some leftovers—and those leftovers want to be in this sandwich, swiped with lime-cumin mayonnaise and piled with the amba, which is tangy and spicy and sweet and salty. The amba would be good on pretty much anything, we think—grain bowls? Fish? We're in. You might want to bump up the lime in the mayonnaise and scale up or down on the level of spice—you could always use more or less cayenne or a different kind of chili—to taste.
The Editors

Makes: 4 sandwiches


For the Amba:

  • 2 mangoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons safflower oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
  • 1 fresh red (Fresno) chili pepper, seeded and minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground fenugreek
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Water as needed (have ready 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons (packed) brown sugar

For the Sandwiches

  • ~1 pound leftover roast chicken (weighed before boning), boned and torn into strips
  • 8 slices sourdough or other crusty bread
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • Soft-leaf lettuce or arugula for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion, sliced thinly
  • Sliced tomato for garnish
In This Recipe


  1. To make the amba condiment, stir together the salt and mangoes in a nonreactive bowl. Cover and chill overnight.
  2. The next day, heat a 3-quart heavy saucepan over low-medium heat and add the oil. Stir in the mustard seeds and heat until they sizzle and start to pop, then stir in the hot red pepper. Stir once or twice then add the mango and spices. Stir in the brown sugar, lime juice, and about 1/4 cup of water, bring to a simmer, and simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and adding water as needed, until tender and cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Stir mayonnaise with lime juice and cumin and spread on each slice of sourdough bread. Layer each half with tomato slices, chicken, a dollop or two of amba, onion slices, and lettuce, and top each sandwich with remaining slice of bread, then serve.

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Reviews (7) Questions (0)

7 Reviews

Jules G. June 21, 2016
1. How long will the amba keep in the fridge?<br />2. Can another kind of oil be used?
Author Comment
creamtea June 22, 2016
I would say the amba would keep about a week to 10 days, maybe 2 weeks, although I've never kept it that long!
Author Comment
creamtea July 18, 2016
sorry, Jules I just noticed I didn't answer your question about the oil. Yes, any kind of neutral oil can be used. I happen to like safflower oil for its mild flavor.<br />
Rocio June 19, 2016
?I have used the Amba to marinate chicken skewers worked awesome, I baked the rest and served it with sourdough toast. A feast
Author Comment
creamtea June 19, 2016
Wow, Rocio, what a great idea!! Thanks for letting me know!
susan G. June 18, 2016
I've used your Amba recipe several times, and I love it! Wonderful flavor, and a good keeper. Now I should follow with the sandwich, in a vegetarian guise. With the sauce as the star (for me), and your mayo blend, great things will happen!
Author Comment
creamtea June 18, 2016
Thanks, Susan! It's really great to know you tried my recipe and liked it! I could totally see this in a vegetarian sandwich. (I first encountered amba in felafel at our local place, which has now closed. I think I went there just for the amba...).