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Omani peppery meat with spicy tamarind sauce (Mishakik)

Updated: Aug 28, 2023

The Omani Sultanate stood as an important stop for trade on the silk route. The flow of spices from the East and the flow of ivory, jewels and slaves up from Africa passed through this sultanate making them both rich and powerful. As a result, their cuisine was influenced by this trade, especially from India.

This is a dish that brings together these influences. The meat is slathered in a lovely sour-peppery marinade and allowed to absorb the flavours. The grilled meat is charred to perfection to a soft, juicy flavour bomb. It is accompanied by a fresh tomato salsa that brightens the dish. Although this dish is served traditionally as an appetizer as brochettes, I have chosen to use a lovely steak that was fast grilled leaving the centre pink.

Felicia Campbell is an award-winning, writer, editor and producer. Her cookbook is more of a historical memoir of the region, its food, its culture and its deep history. This could be one of those cookbooks that you can read as a novel, but I love to rush into my kitchen and cook the dishes knowing their deep history

For more recipes from this fabulous cookbook, click here.


For the marinade:

5 tablespoons tamarind concentrate

1 teaspoon ground cumin seeds

2 tablespoons pepper

1 tablespoon dried red chilli flakes

1/2 teaspoon ground green cardamom

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Salt, to taste

2-3 tablespoons water

1 1/2 lb beef steak, sirloin, ribeye or mutton chops

For the fresh tomato sauce:

2 plum tomatoes

4 cloves garlic

Salt, to taste

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Mix all the ingredients for the marinade with just enough water to make a thick sticky marinade. Rub the marinade over the meat and sit for 1 hour to overnight.

Make the fresh tomato sauce by adding all the ingredients to a small blender and purèeing to a smooth sauce. Set aside in the fridge.

To cook the meat, grill on your BBQ for 4 minutes on the first side and 4 minutes on the second for a rare steak. Remove and tent for 1 minute. Slice the meat on the diagonal and serve hot with the dipping sauce.

To cook in the oven, preheat the oven to 375° F. Layer the meat onto a lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven to broil mode. Cook close to the broiler for 3-4 minutes till charred. tent and serve like above.

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