Indian Barbecue Chicken


For this sweet and tangy chicken, Marcie Turney blends tamarind and other Indian flavors into her molasses barbecue sauce.

Indian Barbecue Chicken. Photo © John Kernick
Photo: © John Kernick
Total Time:
35 mins


  • Vegetable oil

  • 1 medium onion, finely diced

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 3 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced

  • 1 cup ketchup

  • 1/3 cup distilled white vinegar

  • 1/3 cup tamarind puree (see Note)

  • 1/3 cup unsulphured molasses

  • Pinch of sugar

  • 3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 2 teaspoons garam masala

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Four 6-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast halves


  1. In a skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until translucent, 4 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant. Add the ketchup, vinegar, tamarind, molasses, sugar, mustard and cayenne and simmer over low heat, stirring, until reduced to 1 3/4 cups, 5 minutes. Stir in the garam masala and season with salt and black pepper.

  2. Light a grill. Rub the chicken with oil and season with salt. Grill over moderately high heat, turning once, until almost cooked, about 7 minutes. Brush with the sauce and grill over low heat, brushing and turning, until glazed, 4 minutes, then serve.


Tamarind puree is made from a sticky, sweet tropical fruit. It is available at Indian and Latin markets.

Suggested Pairing

Juicy, full-bodied rosé.

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