Madras Curry BBQ Ribs

Bought a rack of back ribs at the grocery. For those who are unfamiliar with pork rib terminology, as you move up the rib you get more meat on them. Back ribs or baby back ribs are the meatiest, while St. Louis cut is my favorite. More here:

So I had a rack of Ribs. I had a BBQ. I was out of rub and BBQ sauce. Oops. Choice was a run back to the grocery store, mix my own rub, or improvise. As I was in a hurry, a run to the store was out, and I didn’t feel like doing the whole mix my own thing right then. And I’ve had a hankering for Curry…

So I decided on an experiment. Use curry powder as a BBQ Rub. It worked.

The Rub

I used “Merwanjee Poonjiajee & Sons Private Ltd. Madras Curry Powder” a “Sun Brand” est. 1876 Prince’s Dock, Bombay India

Just sprinkled it on the ribs in a modest layer. It was fine enough I didn’t feel the need to actually rub it in. I just let it sit for about an hour to reach room temperature and soak in some of the flavor. Then, onto a gas grill, covered, running at about 270 F / 135 C. Indirect heat from the burner ‘one over’. A few hours. About 3. I did run it up to about 350 for 20 minutes in the middle to do a couple of lamb chops as the spouse wanted lamb, so one end is a little over done from that, but the rest is quite nice.

Not as BBQ as usual, and not as Curry as expected. A very interesting 1/2 way of it all. The bark (spicy crusty bit) is very tasty and the meat is fall of the bone nice.

All in all a very successful experiment. I’ll be doing it again.

If you are one of those folks who likes a good curry, but also wants to BBQ, I suggest giving it a try.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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11 Responses to Madras Curry BBQ Ribs

  1. H.R. says:

    I love curry. That sounds like a winner to me. Unfortunately, the missus can’t stand the smell of curry, so I’ll not get to try it at home. Darn it!

    If you haven’t already done so, try using Goya brand Adobo con Comino on pork chops or anything pork, for that matter. The kids like it so well that if they had a son, they were going to name him ‘Adobo,’ and I don’t think they were kidding.

    Memorial Day menu here is
    Nathan’s Footlong beef coneys with chili, cheese, and onions
    Bratwurst (fresh made at a local place) with grilled peppers and onions
    Hamburgers with all the fixings
    Redskin potato salad with dill and sour cream
    Bacon and onions with baked beans ;o)
    Grilled asparagus
    Strawberry Rhubarb cobbler (rhubarb is from our garden)

    A note on hamburgers: I like 80/20 ground chuck for the flavor and I like them cooked through, but juicy. I use 1 packed cup of hamburger to make a patty that is about 8″ to 9″ diameter and less than 1/2″ thick. It cooks through quickly, being so thin, so it stays juicy. It shrinks to about 6″ diameter without getting the bulge in the middle; think Texas Whataburger. That allows lots of room for goodies on a hamburger without soaking the bun or falling out the sides.

  2. R. Shearer says:

    Curry in guacamole is quite good also and double the cultural appropriation.

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    Hmmm… I sometimes put avocado on salads..

    Curry Guacamole Asian Chicken Salad! A 3-fer appropriation!

    (What used to be called “fusion” in more enlightened times…)

  4. Tom Bakewell says:

    I have found out that to get the full effect from curry powder it needs to be fried for a bit, as in making around with curry powder added. Generally I go for a medium dark brown colour. And if making a curry it needs a bit of chutney to fully release the flavours. Overflowing tablespoon is good, and type of chutney doesn’t make much difference.

    The source for this variant is a Gold Coast mining camp recipie delivered to me by folks stuck in West Africa during WWII.

    I can see making up a curry roux, making some chutney and swarming it on the ribs before and during the cooking.

    This weekend I will experiment!

  5. E.M.Smith says:

    I wanted to try it straight first, figuring the heat of the BBQ would “ripen” the curry powder. It did OK I think. The idea of a roasted curry roux is a nice one. I could see “toasted curry butter” as a basting agent ;-)

    Chutney, eh? Sugary Salty Fruity Spicy…

    OK, so run some chutney though a blender, saute the curry in butter, once browned, add the chutney puree and reduce… Cool and apply with brush or trowel depending on desired thickness and spice ;-)

  6. Thomas C Bakewell says:

    This recipe looked to be a sure starter.

    For Tom’s Rubber Boots Curry you do need some flour for thickening, so that’s why I do a roux with lots of chopped onions, peanut oil, flour and the curry powder. (Which is Madras Curry Powder from our favourite provider of condiments and such, Merwanjee Poonjiajee & Sons, Private Ltd.) I just a stir in a tablespoon or two of what chutney I had most of, was oldest, etc. into whatever I was currying. I’ve never tried it, but I suspect currying rutabegas might make them edible, if not palatable.

    For a rib baste, I can see pureeing some Major Grey’s or whatever is handy. I love the food processor until it gets to be time to clean it up.

    Good grits, as they say in Texas…

  7. E.M.Smith says:


    Cleaning a blender is easy. Put in hot water, squirt of dish soap, lid on, Frappe for 1 minute. Rinse and repeat. Disassemble and touch up any minor spots as you do the final rinse and place in the rack to dry.

    FWIW, I actually like rutabagas… The greens are nice too ;-)

    Somehow I’ve never gotten involved with chutney. Just never knew what to do with it, or how to pick one form the 20 gazzillion all highly different choices. On my “someday” list ;-)

    (Ideas for a first noob Chutney Dive welcome! ;-)

  8. Thomas C Bakewell says:

    Chutneys just seem to help leftovers qo away quicker. The cannery in Oregon that puts out picture perfect cans of wonderful fruits had a recipe for gooseberry chutney.It worked really well. I guess the idea is to use the sweet and sour idea with different spices to add interest to food. Major Grey’s is wonderful on cold lamb, pork and fowl. Never tried it as the sweet part of a PB and J sandwich, but could sometime. Esp on a good ‘real’ bread, like Russian rye so dense it blunts the bread knife.

  9. E.M.Smith says:

    OK, so “Major Grey’s” to start, and dump it on some leftover cold BBQ. I can do that…

    The local Italian Grocery has a UK section with a good selection so it ought to have Chutney. I’ll have to look around in the condiment section of other stores as well… Oh Boy, a whole new food group I’ve never explored before. That’s rare these days…

  10. Chaitanya Agnihotri says:

    Madras curry powder has too much salt, modified from original blend, please bring back original as merwanjee made in Bombay

  11. Tom Bakewell says:

    That is what I have in my cabinet.

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