Sticky Tamarind Ribs

Masala Rubbed Ribs

Messy food, we start out eating this way as babies and it's a theme that continues throughout life...think about it, spaghetti, ice cream, cheese smothered nachos, hot dogs, burgers, you get the picture. Messy eating seems to make food taste better, it has sensory appeal and brings out the kid in us and let's face it who really wants to grow up. I'm a sucker for eating with my fingers, getting food stuck in my teeth, feeling it across my lips and having a pack of baby wipes to hand. So when the rest of the Rajah clan descended I knew they'd demand something meaty with a little firepower and family style eating, what better way to celebrate the occasion than with a heap of sticky tamarind ribs? The rack would be prepared with a dry garam masala rub and baked until juicy and tender and then soaked in a sticky sweet and hot tamarind marinade, cleansed with a touch of lime and scattered with some red chilli. The result? Well, let's just say we went through a couple of packets of baby wipes and cocktail sticks.

If you've a hungry carnivorous crowd due to descend on you who love eating like cave men then these Indian style spare ribs are just the ticket. Park your table etiquette, tuck your napkin into your shirt and get messy!

Serves 4-6

  • 2 racks of pork ribs

Dry rub:

  • 2 tbs soft brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbs ground garam masala
  • 1 tbs ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

Sticky Spice Marinade:

  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbs ground coriander
  • 1 tbs tamarind paste
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 3 tbs runny honey
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Salt
  • 2 large red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped


  • Coriander leaves
  • Pomegranate seeds
Sticky Tamarind Ribs

How To Make Sticky Tamarind Ribs

In a bowl mix the dry rub together, now tip into a plastic bag big enough to contain the ribs. Now shake the bag with the ribs and rub until everything is coated and then tie a knot in the top and refrigerate over night if possible or for a few hours.

Make the sticky tamarind sauce by popping everything together in a bowl and mix thoroughly, decant into a jug, cover and refrigerate until needed.

Heat the oven to 1600C / gas mark 3 in preparation for the ribs. When the oven reaches temperature pop the ribs into a deep roasting tin, add a couple of tablespoons of water into the tin and cover tightly with kitchen foil and cook for 2 hours, the foil will steam the ribs. Remove the foil and pour over the tamarind sauce covering the ribs. Cook for another 30 minutes and then remove the foil and cook for a further 20 minutes until the ribs look sticky and messy.

Remove the ribs, and carve up them up, heap them onto a platter, scatter with coriander leaves and pomegranate seeds.

Serve with a side of Haldi Coleslaw.

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Loving everything Rajah these Days x

By Iain Williams on October 21, 2017

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