This South Asian take on classic American barbecue sauce is sweet, spicy, and savory—and the best thing that ever happened to chicken.


Credit: Photography by Christopher Testani

Recipe Summary test

6 hrs 35 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • In a blender, pulse the cherries, onion, mustard, vinegar, ground chile, peppercorns, and fennel seeds until smooth, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a medium saucepan. Add the jaggery and 1/2 tsp. sea salt. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the jaggery dissolves and the sauce starts to bubble, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Season the sauce with salt.

  • Pat the chicken dry. Using a sharp small knife, pierce the skin and meat in a few places. Place in a large resealable plastic bag. Add 1 cup of the sauce. Seal the bag and massage the meat a few times. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or, preferably, overnight. Cover and refrigerate the remaining sauce.

  • Heat a grill or grill pan to medium. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Discard the bag. Using paper towels, pat the chicken dry; season with sea salt. Brush the pan with oil. Grill the chicken, turning occasionally and basting with 1/2 cup of the reserved sauce, until an instant-read thermometer registers 165° when inserted into the thickest part of each piece, 30 to 40 minutes. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve with the remaining sauce.