For any of the marinades: Combine all the ingredients in a blender and puree until the mixture is smooth and about as thick as a milkshake. You may need to add a couple of tablespoons of water to thin the mixture. Toss 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs cut into 1-inch chunks with the marinade and seal in a zip-top bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or up to 2 days. When ready to grill, wipe off the excess marinade, thread the chicken pieces on skewers, and grill directly over hot coals, turning every few minutes, until the chicken has lightly charred on the exterior and is cooked through, about 8 minutes total.
Photograph copyright © 2015 by Michael Persico
Amba is green mango that has been pickled with fenugreek, turmeric, garlic, and about a hundred other things, depending on the style you buy (in a jar). Indian amba is usually chunky and spicy-more relish than sauce and used like a chutney. The Arabic version is smoother and a little viscous from the fenugreek. Amba came to Israel via Iraq but, like fiery Yemenite schug, amba has become an essentially Israeli condiment, especially on falafel. Sometimes we use amba as a puree. To make it, just put a jar of chunky amba in a blender and puree until smooth. You can buy amba at specialty food stores.
Excerpted from ZAHAV, copyright © 2015 by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.