Monday, April 20, 2015

Tabak Maas or Kashmiri Lamb Ribs

Hefty lamb ribs beckon when I open the freezer. These huge pieces of meat are a challenge to cook up. And I'm always up for that! I figure I will braise them first as they look kind of chewy. The pressure cooker will work it's wonder and I can move on to easier tasks. And as the cooker hisses and spurts, I go about doing mundane kitchen chores. 

The ribs are cooked in a liquid comprising of milk, water, garlic and fresh cilantro. Everything is added to the pot along with a few spices and off goes the whistle. Once done, I pull the ribs out of the cooking liquid and shallow fry them in some ghee. Yes...ghee. It gives the lamb a crusty flavor unlike any other, so do use some. Not a huge amount but a few teaspoons, enough to coat the bottom of the pan and brown the lamb. The resulting aroma permeates and becomes the olfactory dinner gong!

Serves 2-3

2-3 pounds Lamb Ribs (whole not cut into riblets)
1/2 cup 2% Milk
2 tablespoons Garlic paste
3/4 cup Cilantro
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon Chile powder
1/4 teaspoon Cardamom powder
1 tablespoon Fennel seed powder
1 teaspoon ground Black Pepper
1 heaped teaspoon Kosher Salt
1-2 cups Water
2 teaspoons Ghee or Clarified Butter

Wash and dry lamb ribs. Place ribs in a pressure cooker or large saucepan. Chop ribs into 3 rib portions if the racks do not fit in the containers.

Puree milk, garlic paste and cilantro till well blended.  Pour over ribs.

Sprinkle turmeric, chile, cardamom, fennel, black pepper powders and salt over ribs. Stir to mix.

Pour enough water so the ribs are barely covered with liquid. 

Set pressure cooker over a high flame and cook till ribs are done, about 20 minutes. If you are cooking them in a saucepan, place pan in a 375F oven and braise for 1 1/2 hours.

When cool, remove from liquid and keep aside.

Heat ghee in a nonstick pan and add ribs meat side down. Fry till crusty a few minutes on each side and serve them hot. 


The ribs could be cooked both ways easily. Just make sure you can pierce them easily with a knife before you fry them.

The liquid could be cooked down till thick and used as an accompanying sauce, or as a base for another curry which is what I am planning to do.

Lamb chops can be cooked the same way with great success.

We eat like Neanderthals, gnawing at on big bones! Fingers make the best utensils and prehistoric manners make for really tasty ribs.