Tandoori Champ (Indian Lamb Ribs)2013-06-10
In India these ribs, would be cooked in a tandoor, a clay oven. To achieve a similar oven-roasted effect on a charcoal or gas grill, cook the ribs over indirect heat, then finish them with a sear directly over the fire.
2 racks (2 lb.) lamb spareribs (often called Denver ribs)
1 tbsp. cumin seeds
1 tbsp. garam masala
8 cloves garlic, peeled
1 (4″-piece) ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
½ cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
¼ cup malt vinegar
3 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. ground cardamom
1½ tsp. red food coloring
1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Juice of 1 lemon, plus wedges for serving
Melted unsalted butter, for serving
1. Place ribs in a roasting pan. Heat cumin seeds and garam masala in an 8″ skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds; let cool. Transfer to a spice grinder; grind into a fine powder. Purée garlic and ginger in a food processor until very smooth. Add the cumin and garam masala powder, plus yogurt, vinegar, cayenne, cardamom, food coloring, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and lemon juice; purée until smooth; rub mixture over ribs. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
2. Heat a charcoal grill or set a gas grill to high; bank coals or turn off burner on one side. Grill ribs, flipping once, until slightly charred and tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. If the outside starts to burn before the ribs are fully cooked, move them to the cooler section of the grill and continue to cook until tender. Rest ribs 20 minutes; slice into individual ribs. Serve with lemon wedges and melted butter.