Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Claire Spollen
Total Time
1 Hour 25 Mins
Makes 2 1/2 to 3 cups (serving size: about 1/4 cup)

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.

How to Make It

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.

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