Tikka Masala Pork Ribs
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These juicy Tikka Masala Pork Ribs are made with baby back ribs in a spicy, tangy, lip-smacking tasty tikka masala sauce! They’re extremely easy to make, a great appetizer for game day, and perfect for summer entertaining! They are also naturally gluten-free and super deeee-lish!
So there’s Chicken Tikka.
Then there’s Chicken Tikka Masala.
And then there is TIKKA MASALA PORK RIBS!!!
You guys! This is just wow, wow, and WOW!!
Remember these super delicious Oven Grilled Chicken Tikka Drumettes from a few months ago? Well, a few weeks ago, the most wonderful idea struck me. Why not try making ribs in the same tasty marinade?
The result of my little experiment are these super juicy, spicy, and extremely delicious Tikka Masala Pork Ribs. And I am truly over the moon to be able to finally share this recipe with you today!
WHY YOU NEED THESE TIKKA MASALA PORK RIBS IN YOUR LIFE STAT
These gorgeous ribs are:
- Mouthwateringly delicious, spicy, and super juicy!
- Perfect for summertime (or end of summer) barbecues, picnics, and potlucks! But they can actually be made anytime of the year and not just during the summer because they are oven-grilled! So you don’t have to worry about the weather in order to make them!
- A TOTAL winner on Game Day!
- Made with a handful of everyday ingredients (assuming you have a decent stock of spices and seasonings). The only thing you will probably need to buy to make this recipe is a rack of ribs!
- And EXTREMELY easy to make! Almost stupid easy.
HOW TO MAKE TIKKA MASALA PORK RIBS
INGREDIENTS YOU WILL NEED:
- Greek Yogurt: For some creamy goodness! The yogurt also acts as a tenderizer for the ribs. So the longer you leave them in the marinade, the more tender and juicy they will be!
- Lemon Juice: For a bit of tang! As always, I recommend using freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Garlic & Ginger: These two fragrant aromatics are a MUST for flavoring the ribs!
- Fresh Red & Green chilies: For a blast of heat! I like to use bird’s eye chilies. But you can also use any type of small chilies you like. Also, feel free to use as many or as less as you like depending on your heat preference.
- Spices & Seasonings: You’ll need a few simple spices and everyday seasonings to deliver magical flavors! They are – garam masala, a bit of ground cayenne, black pepper and kosher salt. For the garam masala, you can use either store-bought or homemade. However, I recommend using homemade it’s tenfold more flavorful than any store-bought garam masala out there! You can check out my easy recipe for it here if you’re interested.
- Tandoori Color powder: To give the ribs its brilliant orangey-red color! You can also use a drop or two of red/orange food coloring if you have that on hand instead.
- Baby Back Ribs: You’ll need 1 rack (about 800-1000 grams). A rack of baby back ribs usually has 10-13 pieces. The reason I chose to use baby back ribs over any other cut of ribs is because they are leaner and can cook faster. However, if you would like to use another cut, be prepared to increase the cook time.
- Coriander & Mint: Freshly chopped and for garnishing! It makes everything look pretty and taste extra fresh!
Not at all a ton of ingredients there, right?! But this is all you need to make these aromatic, spicy, slightly tangy, and incredibly flavorful ribs!
Just like my Oven Grilled Chicken Tikka Drumettes, this is a simple and easy recipe to make because everything gets blitzed in the blender. So you don’t have to spend tons of time chopping and mincing! (Hurrah!) And you don’t have to take out a bunch of pans, pots and whatnot. 🙌
Before we go through how to make the ribs, here are some useful tips.
Cut the ribs into individual pieces before marinating and make sure the membrane under the ribs is removed.
You can get the meat specialist at your supermarket or butcher to cut up the rack for you. In addition, ask him to remove the white membrane under the ribs before cutting up the rack. (He’ll probably know to do so himself, but a friendly reminder won’t hurt.) The membrane under the ribs will be tough and chewy once you cook the ribs, and chewy and rubbery ribs are not fun to eat!
Furthermore, your marinade won’t be able to penetrate through the ribs if you leave the membrane on and the ribs will be less flavorful . Once the ribs have been cut up into individual pieces, the marinade will be able infuse all sides of each rib piece to ensure maximum flavor. Plus, you won’t have to deal with knives and cut up the rack for easier serving to friends and family post cooking. 👍
Marinate the ribs overnight.
I recommend marinating the ribs overnight in the fridge so that the flavors can really penetrate through the meat. Also, as mentioned, the Greek yogurt acts like a meat tenderizer. So the longer you leave the ribs in the marinade, the more tender and flavorful they will be!
MARINATING THE PORK RIBS
First of all, you need to make the marinade. Simply blend all the ingredients (except the coriander and mint) in a blender until smooth. Remove about about a cup of the marinade (for making the Tikka Masala Dip later), cover, and store it in your fridge. Next, clean the ribs and trim off any excess fat (if needed) and pat-dry with paper towels. se a knife to make some thin slits in the meat part of the ribs.
Then, place the ribs in a large dish and pour the marinade over them. Turn over each piece to ensure that the marinade coats all sides. Cover with cling wrap (or the cover of the dish) and refrigerate to allow them to marinate for at least 5-6 hours. Or again, marinate overnight in the fridge for more flavorful ribs and best results!
After the ribs are done marinating, line up the pieces on a large piece of heavy duty aluminum foil and spoon some of the leftover marinade in the dish on top of the ribs. Spread evenly with a spoon to make sure all of the ribs are covered with the marinade.
Then, make a “foil package” by folding over each side to cover the ribs. Wrapping the ribs in foil prevents them from drying out and keeps them tender. Plus, the foil package allows you to cook the ribs in the oven for a shorter period of time than what would normally be required to get them nice and tender.
HOW TO COOK TIKKA MASALA PORK RIBS AND THE TIKKA MASALA DIP
Now it’s time to cook these delicious ribs in just a few simple steps! They are:
- Bake. In a preheated oven set to 200°C/400°F for 60-70 minutes.
- Baste. Next, transfer ribs to wire rack and baste with some of the remaining marinade in the baking dish.
- Broil. For 5-7 minutes, or until they’ve slightly crisped up and charred.
- Baste again. Next, flip the ribs to the other side and baste them again.
- Broil again. For another 5-7 minutes, and until done and crisped up to your desired crispness.
- Make Tikka Masala Dip. While the ribs are broiling the second time around, you can make the dip. Just be sure to take the cup of marinade you reserved out of the fridge 15-20 minutes in advance so that it’s not freezing cold when it hits the pan! Simply just heat a little olive oil (or any other cooking oil you prefer) in a pan, and pour in the remainder marinade in the cup. Then, stir it around until it thickens and transforms into a dark, vibrant orange paste-like mixture. Then transfer the dip to a small dip dish/serving bowl.
- Plate & Garnish. Remove the baking tray from the oven and transfer the ribs to a clean plate. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander and mint leaves.
- SERVE!! Serve with some lemon wedges (if desired) and the Tikka Masala Dip on the side for dipping. And….enjoy!!
DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER SERVING DIPS SUGGESTIONS?
Yes! You can also serve these ribs alongside this Cooling Cucumber & Mint Yogurt Dip. I occasionally do since it pairs perfectly with these spicy Indian baby back ribs! In addition, it helps to balance out the spicy flavors in the ribs.
That’s really all that there is to it!
Easy peasy and DONE!! 👌
ARE THESE GLUTEN-FREE?
Yes! All the ingredients in the marinade and are naturally gluten-free!
CAN I COOK THE RIBS ON AN OUTDOOR GRILL?
I’m pretty sure you can grill these ribs on an outdoor charcoal grill. I recommend cooking them in the foil packet first (to prevent splattering and promote even cooking), and then directly on the grill to crisp up. However, please note that I haven’t tried out this method yet as I live in a high-rise apartment and don’t have easy access to a grill. If you do decide to grill them outdoors, I would be curious to learn how long it takes to cook them. So please do report back your findings in the comments section below!
I’M NOT A FAN OF PORK. CAN I USE THIS MARINADE ON CHICKEN?
Yes! Check out my Oven Grilled Chicken Tikka Drumettes recipe! They’re extremely popular for summertime gatherings and are major crowd-pleasers too!
In summary, these Tikka Masala Pork Ribs are perfect for any type of fun gathering with family and friends and game day! And I guarantee that everyone will love these Indian spiced, meat-i-licious, and ridiculously GOOD ribs!
And if you’re like me and love anything spice and adoorrrrrreeee everything pork, you’ll be enjoying these delicious spicy Tikka Masala Pork Ribs over, and over, and over again!
Happy summer my friends! 🤗
MORE SUMMER PARTY RECIPES
Looking for some more summer entertaining recipes and party food?! Here are some of my favorites!
- Garlicky Black Pepper & Turmeric Chicken Drumettes
- Oven Grilled Chicken Tikka Drumettes
- Spicy Grilled Asian-Cajun Chicken Skewers
- Chicken Tikka Nachos
- Chicken Tikka Naanza (Naan Pizza!)
- Browse the entire Party Food & Snacks recipe collection.
Tikka Masala Pork Ribs
These juicy Tikka Masala Pork Ribs are made with baby back ribs in a spicy, tangy, lip-smacking tasty tikka masala sauce! They’re easy to make, a great appetizer for game day, and perfect for summer entertaining! They’re also naturally gluten-free and super deeee-lish!
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 70
- Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Party Food & Snacks
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: Indian
- 900–1000g Baby Back Ribs/ 1 rack (about 10 – 13 pieces) – cleaned and pat dried with paper towels (Pro tip: get your butcher to remove the white membrane under the ribs and cut the rack up into individual rib pieces for easier serving.)
- 7 Garlic gloves – peeled, roughly chopped
- 1.5 inch knob of Ginger – peeled, roughly chopped
- 5–8 Red Chilies, to taste – destemmed, roughly chopped
1-3 Green Chilies, to taste – destemmed, roughly chopped
- 10 TBLS (a little less than 2/3 cup) Greek Yogurt (or use Greek style yogurt)
- 1/4 TSP coarse ground Black Pepper, to taste
- 1.5 TSP Kosher Salt, to taste
- 2 TSP Garam Masala (store-bought is fine, but homemade tastes so much better! Check out my easy homemade garam masala recipe.)
- ½ – 1.5 TSP ground Cayenne or Kashmiri Red Chili Powder, to taste
- 2 TBLS freshly squeezed Lemon juice
- ½ TSP Red-Orange Food Coloring Powder (or 1–2 drops of red/orange liquid food coloring)
- 6 TBLS Water
- 1 TBLS Canola Oil (or any other cooking oil)
- 1–2 TBLS chopped fresh Coriander (Cilantro)
- 1–2 TSP chopped fresh Mint Leaves
- Tikka Masala Dip
- Lemon wedges (optional)
- Cooling Cucumber & Mint Yogurt Dip (optional – get the recipe here!)
- Clean and prepare the ribs: Clean the ribs and trim off any excess fat if needed. Pat-dry with paper towels. Then cut tiny slits in the meat part of the ribs and place them in a large dish (you may need to use two dishes if you don’t have one that is large enough to hold all the rib pieces).
- Make the marinade: Combine the garlic, ginger, red & green chilies, Greek yogurt, black pepper, kosher salt, garam masala, ground cayenne (or Kashmiri red chili powder), lemon juice, red-orange food coloring powder and water in a blender jug. Blend until smooth. Reserve about 1 cup of the marinade in a small container for the Tikka Masala Dip (to be made when serving) and cover and refrigerate.
- Marinate the ribs: Pour the rest of the marinade in the blender jug over the ribs and turn to coat. Make sure the ribs are coated well on all sides. Cover with cling wrap (or the dish cover) and refrigerate for 5-6 hours, or overnight for maximum flavor and best results.
- Preheat the oven: Remove the ribs from the fridge at least 40 minutes before you plan to cook and preheat the oven to 200°C/400°. Place a wire rack on top of a baking sheet, then break a large sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil and place it on top of the wire rack.
- Wrap ribs in a foil package: Lift the ribs from the marinade and line them up flesh side up on the center of the foil. Spoon some of the remaining marinade in the dish over the ribs and spread with a spoon to evenly coat. Fold all four sides of the foil to cover the ribs and form a “package” (refer to photo in post).
- Bake: Place the tray in the oven and cook for 60-70 minutes.
- Baste and broil: Remove the tray from the oven and carefully open the package using tongs. Use the tongs to transfer the ribs to the wire rack, flesh side facing front. Baste the ribs on the front, top, and back with some of the remaining marinade in the dish. Place the tray back in the oven to cook under the broiler for 5-7 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and use tongs to turn over the ribs. Baste again with the remaining marinade in the dish before placing back into the oven. Cook under the broiler for 5-7 minutes or until the ribs have charred slightly (or have charred to your liking). Transfer to a cooling rack. Discard any remaining marinade in the dish.
- Make the tikka masala dip. Heat the canola oil in a small pan and sauté the reserved 1 cup of marinade for 3-5 minutes to make the Tikka Masala Dip. Once thickened and dark orange in color, transfer to a small serving bowl.
- To Serve: Plate the ribs and garnish with chopped fresh coriander and mint leaves. Serve immediately with the Tikka Masala Dip, lemon wedges and Cooling Cucumber & Mint Yogurt Dip if desired.
- Are these gluten-free? Yes, no adaption is required.
- Can I cook the ribs on an outdoor grill: While I’m pretty sure you can grill these on a conventional outdoor grill, I haven’t tried this yet. Do share your findings on cook time if you do try cooking them on a grill in the comments section below!
- Can I substitute with chicken if I don’t like pork? Yes! Check out my Oven Grilled Chicken Tikka Drumettes recipe. They’re extremely popular for summertime gatherings and are a major crowd-pleaser.
- Spice level. Feel free to make this milder or hotter according to your preference by reducing or increasing the amount of fresh red and green chilies and the ground cayenne.
- Dips: For a cooling side dip, serve with Cooling Cucumber & Mint Yogurt Dip.
- Cook time. Oven cook time may vary due to variations in heating abilities in different ovens. Just keep an eye on the ribs while they are under the broiler to ensure that they don’t burn.
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- Serving Size: 1 rib
- Calories: 212
- Sugar: 2.3g
- Sodium: 274.8mg
- Fat: 11.8g
- Saturated Fat: 3.9g
- Unsaturated Fat: 7.2g
- Trans Fat: 0.1g
- Carbohydrates: 4.5g
- Fiber: 0.6g
- Protein: 22.2g
- Cholesterol: 65mg
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary based on several factors. It should only be used as a general guideline. For more information, please see our Disclosure.
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This post may contain affiliate links. We are a part of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary based on several factors. It should only be used as a general guideline. For more information, please see our Disclosure.
Hello I’m trying to find the best recipe for tandoori ribs so that they are nice and tender, flavourful and retain a nice texture to the meat. I know for certain that I want to use the yogurt-based marinade.
The one discrepancy between all the recipes is many of them will pressure cook or simmer the ribs before marinating overnight. I am just curious if you know how the results of that process differs from the simply marinate and cook method (as far as the effect on the meat tenderness etc).
I noticed that you don’t use any form of pressure cooking or simmering prior to marinating. Do you know what the pros and cons are for using/not using this step?
Also, some recommended plunging them into an ice bath to cool them after pressure cooking or simmering (prior to marinating). I’m wondering if this has a positive affect on the meat or does “temperature shocking” the meat pose the risk of toughening it?
I’m also wondering if the marinating should be restricted to no more than 24 hours or is it a “ the longer the better” scenario?
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond.
Simmering the ribs beforehand is a matter of choice, but not really necessary if you have tender, good quality ribs without too much fat to begin with. The downside of boiling for an extended period is that some of the natural pork flavor is lost (even though it would reduce the baking/grilling time and help bring some of the fat to the surface during simmering). Pressure cooking would definitely give you tender, fall off the bone ribs, but I have not tried it with this recipe and marinade.
I haven’t given an ice bath to simmered ribs before, so can’t speak about the texture of the meat after doing so. I personally wouldn’t though, because I feel that there is a risk of making the meat too tough even if the goal is to prevent its internal temperature from rising further after simmering.
As for the marinating duration, I’ve marinated for 24 hours only before, never longer with the marinade in this particular recipe. The Greek yogurt (you can use Greek style yogurt too) in the marinade significantly tenderizes the meat, so I would recommend overnight for best results. It’s plenty enough time for the flavors to penetrate the meat and to tenderize it.
The Tikka Masala Ribs come out juicy, succulent, and tender, but they are not fall off the bone tender with the oven-bake method in this recipe. Hope this helps and all the best!