My wife confessed to a hankering for ribs and I was happy to oblige her. I was feeling a little adventurous though and so, instead of one of my standard preparations I decided to play around with a vaguely Indian blend involving of Cumin, Coriander, and the maple-warmth of Fenugreek Seed . I am calling the result ‘Indian Rubs’ and, though it needs a little work, perhaps some of you might like to play with the basic theme…
The Main Ingredients
- 1Kg Baby-back ribs;
- 1 -2 tsp. Liquid Smoke (optional);
- 1 tbsp. each Cumin, Coriander and Fenugreek Seeds;
- 1 tsp. Dry Mustard;
- 2 tbsp. Sugar;
- 1 tbsp. Salt;
- 1 tsp. Asafeotida Powder (or use Garlic Powder);
- ½ tsp. Powdered Ginger;
- 1 tbsp. Paprika.
The amount here is quite a bit more than is needed for the single rack of ribs I am cooking for this post. You can reduce the above quantities to a half, or even a third, or alternatively, make the full size batch and have some left for a future recipe. I already have a use in mind for the leftover portion…
Toast the Fenugreek, Cumin and Coriander seeds separately in a dry pan and then grind them together with the rest of the dry-rub ingredients. After, you may wish to pass the result through a fine sieve to remove any of the stubborn husks that remain.
Many rib recipes suggest that you remove the thin, ‘silver-skin’ membrane from the underside of the ribs. Personally, I never bother with this but it is advisable to cut lightly through the membrane between the bones to allow the rub to penetrate the meat. I also like to score the membrane across the bones several times as shown in the above picture.
Liberally sprinkle each side of the rack with some of the rub mix (about 2 – 3 tbsp. per side is good), and rub in well. Leave the ribs to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight\
I cooked my rack of ribs at 350 degrees for about an hour. For those of you who fall in to the ‘fall-off-the-bone’ school of rib cookery, you may prefer to cook lower and slower (maybe at 300 for 2 hours), but I like my ribs to require a little ‘gnawing’. I know long-slow cooking is almost a religious practice for BBQ fanatics but I always find that when the meat becomes too tender, the original taste of the meat diminishes and mostly only the seasoning comes through in the flavor… Just a personal quirk, I guess.
My wife really liked these but, while the seasoning was really nice, I was not overwhelmed. The blend would be very nice with beef, or poultry even, but with pork ribs I like a bit more sweetness and a little tang. I’m going to play around with the flavors a little and, as I mentioned, I already have a use in mind for the leftovers of this current batch of seasoning…