Smokey and spicy short rib, with sweet potato dhal, raita and pickles

4 short ribs, approx. 300g each
1 tbs cumin seed
1 tbs coriander seed
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp dried chilli
1 tsp Maldon sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

For the sweet potato dahl:
4 medium sweet potatoes
1 onion, peeled and sliced
200g red lentils
500ml chicken stock
1 tbs Garam masala
1 lemon, juice
Maldon sea salt and pepper, to season

For the raita:
200ml natural yoghurt
Half a cucumber, peeled, deseeded and finely chopped
Small bunch of mint, leaves chopped
Small bunch of coriander, leaves chopped
Maldon sea salt
Pickled chilli for garnish


Start by heating the cumin and coriander seed in a frying pan over a medium heat, until lightly toasted. Then place into a pestle and mortar, along with the cloves and chilli and grind down into a rough powder.

Use this rub to coat the short ribs evenly and leave in a bowl, covered with cling film and leave overnight.

When ready, light up your BBQ and set up to cook indirectly. Heat to 140°C and then place the ribs on the grill and close the lid and slow cook for 3-4 hours, until the ribs are tender and falling off the bone. Some oak or cherry wood chips sprinkled on the coals will help add a touch of smoke.

(If you want to cook in the oven, simply heat to 140°C and place the ribs on a tray)

For the dhal, heat some oil in a saucepan and add the sliced onion, along with a pinch of salt. Gently fry until the onion becomes soft and golden and then add the lentils and Garam masala, stirring through for another minute, before adding the chicken stock. Simmer for 20 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the lentils are soft.

For the sweet potato, simply peel, cut into chunks, and put into a saucepan with water and bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.

Drain and then add to lentils and mash together. Add the lemon juice and taste for seasoning, then put to one side.

To make the raita, simply combine all the ingredients together and again, season to taste.

When the short ribs are done (either in the BBQ or oven) take out and cover with foil and rest for 20 minutes.

To serve, spoon the sweet potato dhal onto the centre of the plate. If the bone is still attached to the short rib, slice that off and then carve up the beef in even slices and place on top.

Spoon some of the cooling raita to the side and add some pickled chilli for garnish. Finish with a sprinkling of chopped coriander and Garam masala for presentation.

DUNCAN’S TIP – If using the BBQ method, trying roasting the sweet potatoes by placing next to the coals, skin on. Leave to cook and blacken for an hour and then take out and leave to cool. Slice the potatoes down the middle and scoop out the flesh to make the dhal. This trick lends a lovely smoky flavour to the mix.

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