Tandoori Barbecue Sauce Recipe

This barbecue sauce recipe was one of the most important factors of keeping World Flavor Cafe, my mom's restaurant, afloat in its trecherous early days. Tossed with juicy chopped tandoori chicken thighs and stuffed into a crusty baguette or crisp dosa, this thick, sweet and spicy sauce strikes the perfect blend of familiar and exotic. We knew it was a hit when frequenters started requesting sides of extra sauce, and eventually, the recipe itself. With random yet super-loyal Ojai regulars like Malcolm McDowell, Diane Ladd and Linda Bruckheimer, that's a solid compliment. Awh, I name-dropped. Poor form. But good sauce.

This recipe yields about a quart and a half, and it'll keep in a tightly sealed jar in the fridge for up to a month. It's great on chicken or turkey burgers, makes a perfect glaze for pork ribs and is and spectacular (if loosely sacriligeous) on beef brisket.

Tandoori Barbecue Sauce Recipe
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1/2 quarts
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons ginger paste
  • 4 tablespoons garlic paste
  • 1 quart ketchup
  • 4 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Tabasco
  • 6 tablespoons malt vinegar
  • 7 tablespoons Coke
  • 7 tablespoons coarse ground mustard
  • 7 tablespoons espresso powder
  • 7 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons finely ground garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon tandoori spice powder
  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the ginger and garlic and saute until fragrant, 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
  3. Add the ketchup, Worcestershire, Tabasco, malt vinegar and Coke and gradually bring to a boil. 
  4. Reduce heat and let sauce simmer until thickened.
  5. Add the mustard, espresso powder, brown sugar, black pepper, garam masala and tandoori spice and let reduce for another 10-15 minutes. The sauce should be a dark red-brown and fairly thick. 
  6. Let cool completely, then store in glass jars until ready to use. 
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