Who Wants To Invite Me To An Indian BBQ?

Jackie Gordon Singing Chef - Who Wants To Invite Me To An Indian BBQ?

Do Indians host BBQ’s like Americans do? I feel like I should know the answer to this question, but I honestly don’t know. I will find out and give you an update.

I’ve only ever been invited to a BBQ where my hosts cooked on a tandoor once in my life. It was in the 90’s, in Australia. They were not of Indian descent or even Aussies. They were from New Zealand, but they loved to cook so they had a tandoor built in their backyard and their tandoori chicken was pretty damn good. They did not serve coleslaw of any kind.

Recently, I was looking for suggestions of dishes that work well at a BBQ and can sit outside in the heat. My taste buds perked up when my friend George told me about this Indian Spiced Coleslaw.

I made it a couple of times. Once by following a recipe she suggested on the Splendid Table website. I never follow recipes, but I did this time because I wanted to know what it was supposed to taste like. I did it despite thinking the recipe looked bland. People who ate the first version really liked it, but I thought it lacked oomph.The second time, I made it my way. Indian dishes usually have a blend of spices. I added more to the original recipe, varied the veggies and switched it to coconut oil instead of canola. My version is much better. I may add currants or raisins to it the next time because it could use a hint of sweetness

It got me wondering if Indians have a BBQ tradition in India beyond the tandoor? I know that it’s brutally hot there during the summer because my girlfriend has just gone home to 115-degree temperatures. She said they stay inside most of the time. It sounds like hell-on-earth to me.

I have to check with more of my Indian friends about Indian BBQ situation and finagle an invite if they exist. If I do get an invite, I will definitely bring this dish.

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Indian Spiced Slaw

A spicy Indian spin on coleslaw with coconut, lime, chilies and peanuts that’s gluten-free and vegan.
Indian Spiced Slaw


  • 1 pound white cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 scallions, sliced thin
  • 3 ounces peanuts, roasted and salted
  • 1 ounce unsweetened coconut shreds, toasted
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon black or yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Madras curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems
  • 1 to 2 fresh green chiles (Serrano, JalapeƱo,etc.) stemmed and seeded
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a medium sized bowl, mix cabbages, carrots, scallions, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Set aside for 20 minutes. Drain excess juices.
  2. Combine peanuts and coconut in a small food processor or blender and pulse them to chop them coarsely.
  3. Place coconut oil in a small frying pan with mustard seeds and cumin seeds with a lid. Heat over a low flame. Cook for 30 seconds, gently shaking the pan, after you hear the mustard seeds begin to pop. Remove from heat and stir in the curry powered and the turmeric. Add spices to the cabbage mixture with peanut mixture, 1 teaspoon of salt, cilantro, chilies and lime juice.
  4. Allow mixture to sit for 30 minutes. Season with more salt and freshly ground black pepper if necessary.
Total time:
Yield: 8 servings


You can buy unsweetened coconut in most health food stores.