Life. Love. Food

Chicken Mshikaki with Garlic Ukwaju BBQ Sauce

I love hosting at home; but only when it is a small group and when people come early and leave early LOL. I have developed a soft spot for brunches and lunches. From the point of view of the host, you can cook early, enjoy food & company and after your guests leave, you have still time to clean, clear, unwind and rest. I always reach for things that are quick to make but so tasty to have. Pilau is easy to make. Egg curry is easy to make. Wali wa nazi with cumin is so easy and super tasty as well. These burgers are easy to make too! For starters, I go for easy to make things as well- fish fingers, wings, mshikakis etc. I love mshikaki so much because its fun to play flavors around and put together. I have several recipes and for today we are turning up the heat with some chicken mshikaki with some tasty garlic ukwaju bbq sauce.

I made a dope vid to accompany the blog post. Do watch below, and subscribe!

PREP TIME: 20 min    COOK TIME:  30 min       SERVES: 4


1/2 a kg of chicken breast

For the marinate:

2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of minced red onion

3 cloves of minced garlic

1/2 a teaspoon of dried thyme

1/2 a teaspoon of coriander powder

For seasoning:

1/2 a teaspoon of turmeric

1/2 a teaspoon of cumin

1/2 a teaspoon of black pepper

For the bbq sauce:

1 onion chopped

6 cloves of garlic

1 cup of ketchup

3 tablespoons of honey

2 tablespoons of ukwaju paste


Place the chicken in a container and add all the marinate ingredients. You can use any other combo of herbs and spices, but I highly recommend what I used to marinate. I love balsamic vinegar for marination, and you can use pretty much any vinegar EXCEPT white vinegar.

Mix it all up and let it sit overnight.

Next day, remove the chicken from the fridge and let it come to room temp a couple of hours before cooking. Chop the chicken into neat cubes, return into the container, then mix it in the spices for seasoning. I only went with three spices because the sauce will have bold flavor and I want that to shine. Proceed to skewer.

I bought my skewers from Carrefour. The minis cost 60 bob for a packet of 50 and 100 bob for the larger ones.

Proceed to sear for about 5 minutes. You can use any pan, type of pan does not matter, just get the searing done. Be careful not to overcook the meat so that they can remain juicy and tender, 5-8 minutes is enough.

Once done, set aside.

Final stage is preparing the sauce we are going to baste it in.

For the sauce, add the onions and garlic into the sufuria and then sautee until fragrant. Add the ketchup, honey and ukwaju paste. I showed the entire process on my channel as well.  Ukwaju is tamarind and I bought mine form Ngara Fig Tree market at 50 bob a pack. I showed you how to extract it in this post on Instagram, so make sure you watch. Besides this post, I used ukwaju in this recipe, this one and this one, so make sure you are keeping up!! Mix it in and allow it to simmer for about 10-15 minutes until thickened. Give it a taste and adjust for any ingredient if need be.

Once done, take off the heat.

Proceed to baste the mshikaki and serve. These look perfect, and they taste just as great as they look!!! It really is easy to make delicious AND beautiful food!!

I love this chicken mshikaki recipe because of how effortlessly it combines all the things I love: A full bodied marinate, good seasoning and a rich basting sauce!

Totally tender and juicy! Easy to make! And without doubt, the perfect appetizer! You can also serve it together with your mains or as a snack too. Just follow your heart!

Do pass by my channel and watch my video!


Get your downloadable recipe here :))

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  1. Royal Kart kenya

    wow Kaluhi this Looks yummy. If you’re in Kenya and looking for skewers or a grill pan and other cookware check out Royal Kart Kenya at this link

  2. Samuel Mcharo

    I’m a private chef and I’m loving your recipes and trying them out. You’re doing an amazing work since I don’t easily stumble on Kenyan menus. My take… i think you should write a book.

    • kaluhiskitchen

      I already have a book, thanks

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