Savory Rhubarb and Red Lentil Daal


June 3, 2011 by Sara Kreidler

Until now, my experience with rhubarb has been limited to strawberry rhubarb pie, which tastes ok but isn’t something I really go nuts for.  So when we got two big bunches of rhubarb in the CSA box this week, I wasn’t sure what to do with it.  Toby found a recipe for rhubarb and red lentil daal, and luckily we had every ingredient on hand except for fresh cilantro for garnish, which we skipped (we do have a cilantro plant growing in the back yard, but it’s not quite ready for prime time).

What a great, light recipe.  It came together very quickly.

Sure, it’s not the prettiest looking dish, but the flavor is incredible.

We ate the daal alongside a salad of fresh greens from the CSA box, combined with some radish and cucumber slices that were hanging out in the fridge (see this post for what I did with the rest of the radishes and cucumbers).  Bittman’s recipe suggests serving the daal with naan, which would be perfect but we didn’t have any on hand, so instead we ate it with thick slices of whole wheat bread from the CSA box.

Adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman


  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 3 stalks rhubarb, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • A big handful of cilantro, minced
  • Rice, for serving
  • Naan, for serving


  1. Combine all of the ingredients except the salt and cilantro in a medium sized pot and add enough water to cover by about 1 inch.  Bring to a simmer over medium flame, cover partially and cook until the lentils are soft, 20-30 minutes.  Add salt.  Keep an eye on the lentils while they’re cooking; if they look like they’re getting too dry, add a little more water.
  2. Remove pot from the stove and remove the cloves and cardamom pods.  Stir in butter and cilantro, and serve with hot rice and naan.

2 thoughts on “Savory Rhubarb and Red Lentil Daal

  1. […] made rhubarb and red lentil daal last year with our CSA rhubarb, and this year we revisited the recipe and added some broccoli and chicken, […]

  2. […]  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 […]

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