Rhubarb Dal

Indian dals, or lentils,  are some of the simplest and most flavorful recipes around, not to mention frugal.  I make lots of dals from the recipes at Quick Indian Cooking when I am eating at home by myself because they come together so fast and they are relatively healthy.  It keeps me away from Taco Bell.  Most of the time…

A while back I commented on another lentil recipe that looks really tasty over at Ma Vie en Food.  Sarah, the author of the blog, also directed me to two other lentil recipes.  Since I have some rhubarb from last summer chopped up in the freezer I thought I’d give this recipe a try.  I don’t really know what to do with rhubarb besides dessert sorts of things, and Wade and I are neither one big fans of sweet things.  The tanginess of rhubarb blends unexpectedly well with savory, earthy Indian spices.  I improvised a bit and meshed together a couple of spices and cooking techniques from other dal recipes.  This is very healthy and filling when served over brown rice with a little bit of lemon juice and chutney.

•1 cup dried red lentils
•1/2 teaspoon turmeric
•1 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb
•1 small onion, diced finely
•2 Tablespoons ginger, minced
•2 Tablespoons garlic, minced
•4 green cardamom pods
•4 whole cloves
•1 Tablespoon ghee, or vegetable oil
•1 teaspoon black pepper
•1 dried red chile
•1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
•1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
•Salt, to taste

Place the red lentils, turmeric, rhubarb, onion,  garlic, ginger, cardamom, and cloves in a medium sized saucepan.  Cover with water by about two inches.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Continue cooking until the lentils become tender and begin to disintegrate, adding water as necessary.  Heat the ghee or oil in a small skillet over medium heat.  Add the dried pepper, black pepper, cumin seeds, and cayenne.  Cook, stirring constantly, for about one minute.  The spices should have a pungent smell, but not smell burned.  Remove the dried pepper and stir the mixture into the lentils.  Season with a little salt, if desired.  Serve over rice with some lemon and chutney.

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