This sauce comes from Basbaas Somali Foods in Brooklyn. Spicy, cheek-flushing, yet sweet and smooth, it’s a major flavor boaster in Somalia.
Hawa Hassan, the force behind Basbaas Somali Foods, was fortunate to escape from Mogadishu with her mother and siblings during Somalia's civil war. At the age of seven she was sent to Seattle. She’s been in the U.S. ever since, but she never forgot the people and cuisine she left behind.
Hawa turns that nostalgia into some incredibly tasty sauces, including a killer Tamarind Date Sauce. This chutney is perhaps her most versatile offering. Bright with cilantro, it tastes beautifully fresh and vibrant, like a Somali take on fresh salsa.
Try it as a condiment on scallops, vegetables, chickpeas or chicken.
"This coconut cilantro chutney is sharp and bright with an edge of vinegary jalapeno that lingers. This sauce packs a level of vibrant heat that you'd usually get from fresh herbs and chile, so consider it an alternative to those garnishes. Stir it into freshly chopped herbs for a riff on chimichurri, thin it out with oil and acid for salad dressing, or stir a spoonful into mayo to create a punchy, creamy dip."
Aliza Abarbanel, Bon Appetit
"A tangy coconut-chile sauce that could make the driest chicken breast fly."
Max Falkowitz, Taste
The packaging recently updated for this cilantro sauce: instead of the jar that is depicted above, it now comes in a bottle.