Barbecue sauce

A versatile sauce, as it can be used as a marinade or sauce to accompany meat and side dishes.

Ready in

45 mins

Serving size

Makes about 750 ml
Serves 10


  • 2 tsp (10 ml) olive or canola oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) finely grated fresh ginger or 1 tsp (5 ml) ground ginger
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) ground coriander
  • 1 x 50 g sachet tomato paste
  • 1 x 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) strong Rooibos tea, water or apple juice
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) tomato sauce (see tip)
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) chutney (see tip)
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) dried mixed herbs
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) lemon juice
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) finely grated lemon rind
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) mild mustard or 1 tsp (5 ml) dried mustard powder
  • black pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil over a medium heat in a saucepan. Fry onions for a few minutes until soft. Add garlic and ginger and fry for another few minutes.
  2. Stir coriander and tomato paste into onions and mix well. Add tomatoes, rinse tin with liquid and add to ingredients in saucepan.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer without lid for 10-15 minutes or until thickened. Stir often.
  4. Season with more lemon juice and pepper if necessary.
  5. Use to marinate meat, before being braaied. Or serve as a sauce to accompany the meat and side dishes.


  1. Chakalaka: fry 1 carrot, coarsely grated and ½ red or green pepper, chopped, with the onions and add 1 tsp (5 ml) mild curry powder with the coriander.
  2. The sauce will last for 2 weeks in the fridge in an airtight container or sterilised glass jar.
  3. When buying sauces like chutney or tomato sauce, make sure to choose a good quality option that is lower in salt and sugar. Check the food labels to make the best choice.
  4. When using this sauce, take care to season meat or other ingredients in the meal lightly with salt, as there are already salty seasonings in the sauce. If using it as a marinade with meat, only season meat with 1 tsp (5 ml) salt per kilogram of meat, instead of 1½ tsp (7,5 ml) salt per kilogram of meat.
  5. If you prefer a smoother barbecue sauce, blend the cooked sauce with a hand blender.

Barbecue sauce

This recipe is from Cooking from the heart, 4th edition: Braai

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