Spicy BBQ Marinade

Everything we do is a bit spicy, from Masala this summer’s hot fashion colour to Spice Girls but serious spice is not just there for taste, its there for health and so many health benefits are in spices. This recipe, along with other marinades with others is from my book “Heavenly Bites, The Best Of Muslim Home Cooking”.

This recipe is inspired by the chef and food warrior Jamie Oliver; I had to change the recipe a bit so Jamie wouldn’t be knocking on my door although from Essex like me he would be most welcome as long as I had a maharam.

You can make this marinade even a couple of weeks before a keep it in the fridge. Let’s say you want to do BBQ tomorrow for iftar break fast time, marinade your meat the night before and leave covered in the fridge and grill, roast or BBQ before serving. This recipe makes enough sauce for 20 drumsticks or 2 large chickens

Most of the ingredients can be easily obtained from your local halal supermarket; smoky paprika can be bought from some large supermarkets and also in Portuguese shops, in places like Portobello Road and the Golborne Road in West London where large communities of Portuguese live peacefully side by side with Moroccans Mashallah.

(Photographer: Shahid Malik)



5 cloves 1 teaspoon/5ml of cumin powder

1 teaspoon /5ml of cinnamon powder

2 tablespoons/30ml fennel seeds

3 teaspoons/ 15ml black pepper

1 teaspoon/5ml of Cornish sea salt or any good sea salt

Handful of fresh rosemary or 1 tea spoon/5ml of dried rosemary

5 bay leaves

1 teaspoon/5ml of thyme

1 whole bulb of garlic zest

Peeled rind of an orange/lemon using finest side of grater

5 teaspoons/5ml of smoked paprika

1 cup /240ml of balsamic vinegar/apple cider vinegar

Juice of 1 orange/lemon

3-5 green fresh chilies optional

½ cup /120ml of honey or golden syrup 2 cups /480 whole bottle of organic ketchup or 5 tablespoons of tomato puree ½ cup /120ml olive oil.


  • Grind all the dry ingredient together; cloves, fennel, cinnamon, cumin, bay leaves, thyme, black pepper, salt and smoked paprika, use a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder.
  • Add to smoothie maker or jug processor
  • Break garlic bulb by hand and place all of it except internal stem into jug blender
  • Add lemon/orange juice, ketchup/ puree and vinegar and turn the machine on for 1 minute to make sure garlic bulb has broken down and blended.
  • Add honey/syrup to jug blender and pulse turn machine on for 30 seconds
  • Add olive oil and blend again for 30 seconds
  • Pour in an air tight bottle and store in the fridge until needed, will keep a couple weeks in the fridge.
  • To use, pour over cleaned meat and toss so that all meat is covered with mixture, place in plastic container and cover with lid or wrap well with clean film making sure no mixture is outside the container, when you work clean there is less risk of nay infection from uncooked meat juices.
  • Leave to marinate for at least 3 hours in fridge, then roast grill or BBQ.
  • Chicken wings take about 20 minutes on BBQ or 40 minutes in oven preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Chicken thighs take 50 minutes in oven or 25 minutes on BBQ or grill, breast takes 30 minutes without bone to roast and 15 minutes to grill or BBQ, so as you can see grilling or BBQ is a quicker method of cooking.
  • Serve with salads and salsas, if you are looking to maintain or not gain weight during Ramadan, meat and salad is a wonderful meal at Iftar, just keep away from the starchy carbs, like bread rice pasta. I am also an advocate of food combining so I think this combination is good for redefining the body’s appearance, Allahu A’llam God knows best.

Spicy Fruit Salad Dressing

Inspired by a Saudi Arabian fruit salad recipe that used honey cardamom and lemon juice as a dressing for fruit salad, here at Karimah’s Cuisine we decided to take it one step further, a simple but effective fruit salad dressing this is perfect for breaking fast.

It’s full of healthful benefits at a time of this blessed month of Ramadan there are too many coughs and colds as a result of the fasting. It’s refreshing   eaten with a selection of summer fruits , plus a few dates and water.

(Photographer: Shahid Malik)

Ingredients For Dressing

1 heap desert spoon raw honey

1 heap spoon cinnamon

1 level spoon turmeric / haldi you could use fresh

1 level tea spoon ginger powder, you could use fresh

Juice of three lemons

Splash of apple cidar vinegar.


Place all ingredients a blender and blitz or in screw top jar and s-h-a-k-e  , shake it off !

Add as desired, over a selection of washed, peeled and chopped fruits.

Health Benefits

Ginger – anti-inflammatory, combats nausea, motion and morning sickness, dizziness, cold sweating, cancer and boosts the immune system.

Cinnamon – blood thinner, appetite suppressant, mild sweetener, food preservative, anti-inflammatory, helps fight bacterial and fungal infections, may prevent cancer.

Turmeric – anti biotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, good for brain function, should lower risk of heart problems, benefits against depression, combats aging

Honey – anti-allergies, promotes energy, preservative, memory enhancers, cough suppressant, treats wounds and burns, contains amino acid tryptophan hence is a good relaxant for brain.

Lemon juice – vitamin c, anti-aging, anti-oxidant, helps water retention mild diuretic, helps reduce pain and swelling so anti-inflammatory, good for blood plasma and boost immune system.

apple cidar vinegar – anti-bacterial, helps reduce blood sugar levels, can help with weight loss, can help with heart health, may protect against cancer, boost energy, calms skin irritation , including sore throat and warts.

We would like to thank Karimah for her time and effort she put into giving us these exciting dishes! We wish her the best of luck on the launch of her next book which would be available here alongside her current one. If you would like to know more about this wonderful woman, check out our interview with her here.

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