Chicken-Amba (Mango Condiment) Sandwiches with Lime Mayonnaise

October  4, 2022
5 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Makes 4 sandwiches
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

Test Kitchen Notes

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

What You'll Need
  • 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
  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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • cmtm
  • Jules Galette
    Jules Galette
  • Rocio
  • susan g
    susan g
  • creamtea

10 Reviews

cmtm February 1, 2019
I made this for lunch today and wow, it's really fantastic! I tried to follow the recipe exactly but had to make 2 minor adjustments: I used a local pepper called "piment d'oiseau" because I'm in France and I thought it would be the closest substitute for the Fresno pepper. It's quite a hot pepper relative to it's size so I used half to be sure not to shock the French mouths. Ha! It was the perfect amount of heat. I also could not find any fenugreek, so I used a small teaspoon of maple syrup as a sub per internet research. Again, this recipe is really good and worth the small effort. Just a note for anyone using chicken breasts instead of leftover chicken: 1 mango (with the rest of the ingredients halved accordingly) was more than enough for 3 chicken breasts.
creamtea February 1, 2019
Thank you, cmtm, for trying my recipe! Fresno peppers are fairly mild and a little fruity. Glad you found a substitute in your region and were able to adjust to taste!
Jules G. June 21, 2016
1. How long will the amba keep in the fridge?
2. Can another kind of oil be used?
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!
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.
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
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!
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...).
susan G. August 20, 2019
This time of year, I have also made it with green tomatoes, subbed for mango. Both are excellent.