Here at El Cielo our mission is to offer the True Taste of Mexico. As the first Tortilleria in Melbourne we worked hard over the years to make sure that we bring you products that complement this mission and ensure that you get nothing but the best. We have partnered up Ki Gourmet, an artisanal producer of sauces in Mexico City for that exact purpose.
Ki Gourmet is committed to making the best and most authentic Mexican foods possible and ensuring that the traditional methods, the high quality ingredients and the flavours endure. This entails that they us no additives, no artificial flavours, colours or anything that does not belong in the foods we consume.
We have eight different types from the range of Ki Gourmet currently. Over the next couple months we will be presenting you each and every one of them here on our website and recommending them ways to use them with recipes and tips.
First up is Maria Bonita, a Tamarind & Chipotle sauce. Ki Gourmet has named their sauces after various historic figures in Mexico and South America. Maria Bonita was the nickname of Maria Déia, she was a member of the Cangaco band, a band of outlaws and marauders in Brazil in the 20’s and 30’s. To this day she enjoys the status of a folk heroine in Brazil. Her nickname in English means beautiful Maria. As with most outlaws that lived in the fringes not many facts are known but there are anecdotes that herself and other women in the band moderated the excess of cruelty and often intervened on behalf of the victims threatened by the band. Apparently, she was in a relationship the leader of the band, Lampião. Apparently, the duo was Brazil’s Bonnie and Clyde.
The sauce is an amazing combination of Tamarind and Chipotle. It may come as a surprise to some to find Tamarind in a Mexican salsa, yet Tamarind is omnipresent in Mexico. It is mainly grown in Jalisco, Guerrero, Colima, Chiapas and Veracruz, it is used in many foods, candies (Pulparindo is one of the most popular candies made out of Tamarind) and even water. In Michoacan it is used to flavour “atole”, a corn beverage. Tamarind salsa is used widely in Guerero as it lies by the Pacific Ocean and its abundance of seafood. Tamarind is not native to Mexico, the tree was imported by the Spanish and the Portuguese in the 16th century from the Philippines most likely and as with so many of the ingredients Mexicans adapted it into their cuisine. It has a sweet sour flavour and combined with the smokiness of the chipotle we have Bonnie and Clyde.
As with any of the Ki Gourmet sauces it is a very versatile sauce that can be used straight up on top of fish or shrimp tacos. It pairs very well with chicken as well and not only tacos. Your favourite chicken pieces in pan and once nicely caramelised pour the sauce and let it simmer till the meat is done, serve on a bed of rice and you have got yourself a dish full of flavour, Mexican flavour that is. It is especially good and potentially addictive (you have been warned) as a glaze and a sauce for grilled meats with its sweetness that balances the tartness of the tamarind and the addition of chipotle that ads smokiness and a bit of a kick, to make it all a mouth watering bonanza deliciosa.
Ki Gourmet sauces are 100% natural, they do not contain any preservatives, they are gluten free, they do not contain any trans fats, they are vegetarian and above all artisanal products of love and passion.
Grilled Tamarind Shrimp/Chicken
Makes 4 servings