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Sometimes cooking  can be equated to working on a science experiment. Its about measures and mixing and accidents and triumphs. Lining up ingredients, adding this and that, making notes and figuring out what works and doesn’t. Having a ‘eureka’ moment can be quite satisfying, and a blow-up works as a pretty good story to share over the holidays. Well, after you’ve had enough time to recover and see the humour in it!

This recipe is just that. My dad had a great recipe for ribs, a hankering for which initiated the experimenting process. It seems a little tedious, the list of ingredients, but try it and I can promise you won’t regret it!

** Substitutions are provided at the end of the recipe

Prep time: 15 min | Cooking time: 40 min | Serves: 4


  • 1 kilo pork side ribs, cubed
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 8 pepper corns
  • 3 cinnamon sticks, 1 inch pieces
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 spring/green onion, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp mustard
  • 4 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp malt vinegar
  • 1 tsp ginger preserves/marmalade
  • 1 tsp orange marmalade
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp oil


Cook the ribs in a pressure cooker for 20 minutes with the water, until tender.

Make the sauce by mixing the tomato paste, ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, vinegar, ginger and orange marmalade, sugar, chopped chillies, lemon zest and garlic. Set it aside for later.

In a large pot heat the oil on medium high heat, add the peppercorns and cinnamon. Add the sliced onions and sauté till lightly caramelized. Add 1 tsp chilli powder and 1/2 tsp ground pepper and sauté for another couple of minutes before adding the sauce.

Add the cooked meat and stir to coat with sauce, stir in 1/2 tsp chilli powder and garnish with chopped spring onions.



- 1/4 tsp of finely chopped fresh ginger can replace the ginger preserves

- The preserves and marmalade can be replaced with 2 teaspoons of dark brown sugar and 1/4 tsp of finely chopped or grated fresh ginger.

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