Ambua (Mango) – sweet and sour Himachal Cuisine

Who doesn’t love mangoes? Today presenting- Ambua it is a delicious sweet and sour dish from Himachal Pradesh made with small size ripe mangoes and yogurt. The best part of this dish is the pleasure of eating (KOA– pit in local language) the /pits/stones of the mangoes. We forget that there is so much pleasure to be found outside the rules of etiquette. I recall one of the joyous ritual every mango season in our Hometown Sujanpur Tihra.
We all would decide on having to alternate who got the stone each night while we eat mangoes. I remind myself of all the messy, impolite, satisfying ways there are to eat the food we love..dripping around our arms. The stone is the prize, my friends. This is the best bit of the mango. Lets try this recipe:

  • 3-4 ripe mangoes
  • Asafoetida
  • 1 large cup yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (Methi dana)
  • 1 inch ginger grated (optional)
  • 15 ml ghee or mustard oil
  • Salt as per taste
  • Fresh cilantro chopped
  • Water
  1. Take small size ripe mangoes. I could not get smaller mangoes, so used the bigger ones available in Indian grocery store.
  2. Peel them with hands. Separate the pulp and keep the pits aside.
  3. Some people don’t use pit but I love it with pits to get the actual feel of this ambua.
  4. Add some water in mangoes pulp and make a fine puree like consistency. You can use hand blender too.
  5. Use a deep wok and pour in 20 gm of ghee or mustard oil.
  6. Add dry spices ( asafoetida, red chili powder, cumin seeds, coriander powder, fenugreek seeds, turmeric powder and give a stir)
  7. Add mango puree.
  8. Let it cook on low flame until first boil
  9. Now take 1 large cup of yogurt and mix some water to make thin watery consistency like buttermilk.
  10. Add in add salt. Add water water if need be and let it boil
  11. Garish with fresh cilantro.
  12. Serve hot with rice.

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