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Tamarind Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

Total Time
1 hr 25 mins

We came up with this sauce for chicken wings but found ourselves slathering it on ribs, burgers, and hot dogs too. It even works as a dip for potato chips and shrimp. The magic ingredient is tamarind, a tangy fruit popular in Latino and Asian cuisines.

su-Tamarind Chipotle Barbecue Sauce Image

Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Claire Spollen

 3/4 pound tamarind pods*
 1 medium onion, chopped
 1 tablespoon olive oil
 2 to 4 tsp. chopped canned chipotle chiles
 1 1/2 cups ketchup
 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  Pinch ground cloves or allspice
Step 1

Crack brittle shells from tamarind pods; peel off shells and fibers. Put fruit and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain mixture into a bowl, pushing pulp through; discard contents of strainer.

Step 2

Meanwhile, in another medium saucepan, sauté onion in oil until golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Add tamarind pulp and remaining sauce ingredients. Bring to simmering over medium-high heat; then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, 15 minutes to blend flavors, stirring occasionally. Purée sauce in a blender until smooth.

Step 3

* Find at Latino markets and online (sold as "fresh tamarind"), and look for smooth, soft-looking fruit beneath the brittle shells.

Step 4

Make ahead: Up to 3 weeks, chilled.

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving
Calories 98Calories from Fat 12
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1.4g3%

Saturated Fat 0.2g1%
Cholesterol 0.0mg0%
Sodium 444mg19%
Total Carbohydrate 23g8%

Dietary Fiber 0.9g4%
Protein 1g2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.