Bengali Shish Kebabs with Bengali Mango-Tamarind Barbecue Sauce and Naan! I was talking to Zoë the other day about how she felt my WOTG (What’s on the Grill) series was becoming a little monotonous (Although, I think she was seriously just getting tired of seeing grilled meat all the time). Grilled steak this, grilled steak that and so on and so forth. Admittedly, one of the reasons I started down the WOTG path was to document what I had done in hopes of one, remembering what I did do; two, learning from it; and three, trying new things. One and two are working well but three, I need to improve. This brings me to tonight.
About ten years ago I purchased Stephen Raichlen’s The Barbecue! Bible. This was probably the first cookbook (most certainly grilling book) I had ever bought. I remember flipping through the pages and being amazed at all of the recipes. Since grilling is essentially the oldest form of cooking, it should have been no surprise that a number of the recipes spanned not only traditional American staples, but Asian, Vietnamese, Thai and Indian as well.
While stumbling for ideas for dinner, I pulled out the BBQ Bible and in so doing, had obviously forgotten what a great international resource this cookbook was. We already decided on kebabs for dinner, now the question was what kind. The Bengali Shish Kebabs won out and mostly, because I had everything on hand!
I shall dutifully note in reference to the kebabs I skimped a little and used sirloin instead of tenderloin. I went cheap and wished I wouldn’t have. Not a deal breaker, but just not as tender as I would have preferred. For the kebabs you use a rub of garlic, ginger, salt, coriander, cumin, black pepper and cayenne pepper. All of the ingredients are mixed together and then placed on the meat to marinade for two hours. I deviated from the recipe by adding in onion, green pepper and mushrooms. The recipe calls for the meat to be grilled alone and then cucumber, tomato and onion added later. I wanted that wonderful rub on the vegetables as well.
After the marinade, the meat is skewered and then grilled over direct medium heat until done. I also made Naan, which I have done before and absolutely love. But, by far the best part of the meal was the barbecue sauce. I have had a block of wet tamarind sitting around for months and I was thrilled because I finally got to use it. Good times my friends, good times! The barbeque sauce, with its sweet and sour taste, absolutely made the dish. With the skewers cooked, I loaded a mound of meat and vegetables on to the Naan and then covered it in the sauce. Great flavor and a great meal.
Bengali Mango-Tamarind Barbecue Sauce
From The Barbecue! Bible p. 464
1/2 cups Tamarind Water
1 cup diced ripe mango
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 piece green bell pepper finely chopped
2 jalapeno chiles, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
3 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar ( I ended up adding a 4th.)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
The tamarind water, mango, onion, peppers, ginger, brown sugar and salt are placed in a pot. Bring the pot to a boil over medium heat and then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for approximately 20 minutes. The mango and onion should be soft.
Stir in the cilantro and lime juice and remove from the heat.
Using a food processor, puree and then serve.