Tanzanian BBQ Skewers with Tomato Onion Sauce

Tanzanian BBQ Skewers with Tomato Onion Sauce

Tanzanian BBQ Skewers with Tomato Onion Sauce

Prep Time
45 Minutes
Cook Time
20 Minutes
Spice up traditional BBQ food with this delicious Tanzanian dish. Known locally as mishkaki, these skewers with papaya are marinated so that the beef can soak up tonnes of flavour – and if you can marinade them overnight, it’ll be even more intense. Papaya recipes often include chili because the heat beautifully offsets the sweetness of the fruit. The green papaya is also key in tenderizing the beef so that it practically melts in the mouth. Mix it up with chopped plum tomatoes, lemon and a good helping of this fantastic homemade spice blend. While this east African dish tastes complex, it’s surprisingly easy to prepare. Just mix up garlic granules, salt, cayenne chili, ginger and some of our mild curry powder. Serve the skewers with seasonal vegetables and our tasty tomato and onion sauce, flavoured with tangy tamarind paste.
  • Spice Blend:

  • 1 teaspoon Mild Curry Powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Granules

  • 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Chilli Pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger

  • Marinated Beef Skewers:

  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped

  • 50 gram (2 ounce) green papaya, chopped

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 450 gram beef steak, cubed

  • Tomato Onion Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 4 plum tomatoes, chopped

  • 125 millilitres (4 fluid ounce) water

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • 2 tablespoon tamarind concentrate (paste)

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt

Cooking tip
  1. Tamarind concentrate or paste is a thick fruit pulp that is tart, slightly sweet and fruity. Look for it in the Asian or Mexican aisle of grocery stores or online.
  2. Soak your wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes. This prevents them from burning on the grill.


  • 1 For the Spice Blend, mix all the ingredients until well blended. Reserve 1 tsp for the Tomato Onion Sauce.
  • 2 For the Beef Skewers, mix the remaining Spice Blend, tomatoes, papaya, lemon juice and oil in a food processor or blender. Process the mixture until smooth. Pour the mixture into a large resealable plastic bag. Add the beef cubes and toss to coat well. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • 3 Meanwhile, for the Tomato Onion Sauce, heat the oil in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Add the onion and cook and stir for 5 - 6 minutes or until softened. Add the reserved Spice Blend and remaining ingredients and mix well. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Keep warm until needed.
  • 4 Remove the beef from the marinade and discard any remaining marinade. Thread the beef onto skewers. Grill over a medium-high heat for 3 - 4 minutes per side or until cooked as required. Serve with the Tomato Onion Sauce and warm flatbread. If desired, serve with a side of East African Fresh Tomato & Cucumber Salad (see separate recipe).