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 thinkshe 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 WOTGpath 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.