Episode 107: Fire and Spice

Dutch West Indian Peanut Sauce

Shrimp Boka Dushi

This recipe is used with Shrimp Boka Dushi in Planet Barbecue Episode 107: Fire and Spice

Tamarind lends a fruity tartness to this peanut sauce, a West Indian version of an Indonesian classic. Look for frozen tamarind puree at West Indian and Asian markets and many supermarkets. The sauce is designed to be served with Dutch West Indian Shrimp Kebabs. But it’s great with any type of sate, as well as grilled chicken or seafood.

Makes about 2 cups


Dutch West Indian Peanut Sauce


  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon sambal oelek or other chile paste or sauce
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup tamarind puree
  • 2 tablespoons ketjap manis (sweet soy sauce), or 1 tablespoon each regular soy sauce and molasses, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar, or more to taste

Recipe Steps

1: Combine the onion, garlic, and sambal oelek in a mortar and pound to a smooth paste with a pestle. Alternatively, use a food processor or blender and process to a smooth paste. Transfer the mixture to a nonreactive heavy saucepan and stir in the peanut butter, tamarind water, ketjap manis, vinegar, and 3/4 cup of water.

2: Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer, uncovered, until the sauce is dark and well flavored, about 5 minutes, adding more water as necessary to obtain a thick but pourable sauce. Remove the sauce from the heat and taste for seasoning, adding more ketjap manis and/or vinegar as necessary; the sauce should be highly seasoned.

3: Serve the peanut sauce warm or at room temperature; it will keep, tightly covered and refrigerated, for at least 3 days.

Recipe Tips

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