Posted in Recipes

Oven Baked Indian Rub Ribs

Indian Rub Ribs 1

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);

The Dry-Rub

  • 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…

The Method

Indian Rub Ribs 2

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.

Indian Rub Ribs 3

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.

Indian Rub Ribs 4

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\

Indian Rub Ribs 5

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.

The Verdict

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…




I am a lawyer by profession and my practice is Criminal... I mean, I specialize in Criminal law. My work involves travelling on Court circuits to remote Arctic communities. In between my travels I write a Food blog at

4 thoughts on “Oven Baked Indian Rub Ribs

  1. Nice work. Ribs is one of those dishes that I always order if it’s on offer at a restaurant, but hardly ever make at home. I adore pork ribs with a little sweetness. Some ginger might lift this recipe without changing the profile too much.

  2. Perfect right up sir… The art of a true cook is the true passion and confidence to experiment with flavors true to your heart or even outside of the proverbial box… But more over is to progress and tweak your recipe to “dial” it in to
    Your preference.
    Thanks as always for sharing.

  3. Must try as a would not have thought to put mustard in the rub but believe it tasted great! I was lucky to follow a fabulous vegetarian cook- name long lost! about two decades ago: he taught me to use asafoetida [hing powder: there are actually two kinds of it and I always have it now in the house: just a tad makes such a difference]. It is not available in ordinary supermarkets here but every spice merchant does have it 🙂 !

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