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Rhubarb Dal

Provided by Ellen Dannin, a Village Acres' CSA Member.

If you don't have a dal recipe, let alone a favorite, try this one, modified from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. Feel free to substitute or add your own Indian spices, including garam masala or curry spice. Dal is a very forgiving recipe.  The rhubarb disappears (in taste and it breaks up) but adds a slighly acidic taste, replacing lemon juice.

1 c. chopped onions
1 c. dried red lentils (washed and picked over)
2 T minced fresh ginger (or Indian grocery stores sell bottled minced
1 T  minced garlic
1 T black mustard seeds (an Indian spice)
2 cloves (remove at the end of cooking)
1 t cracked black pepper
1 ancho or other mild dried chile (optional)
1 t - T dried hot chile pepper spice
chopped fresh cilantro leaves
rhubarb - cut into 1" chunks
2 T butter or peanut oil (optional)

Saute the onions in a heavy bottomed stainless steel or ceramic stew pot until soft. (Do not use any metal that would react with rhubarb).
Combine all the ingredients except salt and butter / oil in the pot and add water that covers them by at least 1". Cook at a simmer until soft - about 20-30 minutes. Add salt to taste as the lentils soften.
Garnish with cilantro.

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