Green Dahl with Rhubarb and Ginger

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My grandmother used to love sour dahls. In India she used raw green mango to run a refreshing sourness under her pulses. When she came to the UK, she toyed with unripe plums, but settled for the tart charm of rhubarb.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1½ hours

Ingredients

  • 250 g/9 oz green mung beans
  • 200 g/7 oz canned chopped tomatoes
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
  • 5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 large green chilli, pierced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 white onions, thinly sliced
  • 8 cm/3 inch piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 250 g/9 oz fresh rhubarb, chopped into 5 cm/2 inch pieces
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 small bunch of fresh coriander/cilantro, roughly chopped

Method

  1. In a medium-size saucepan add the green mung beans, 1 litre/35 fl oz/ cups water, chopped tomatoes, turmeric and chilli powder, then bring up to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 50–60 minutes or until the beans are soft and tender, adding more water if needed, then set aside.
  2. Put the vegetable oil in a large non-stick frying pan and set over a medium-high heat. When hot, add the cumin and mustard seeds and fry until they turn dark brown, then add the green chilli, bay leaves, white onions, ginger and garlic and fry for 8 minutes or until the onions are soft and golden.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium, then take the beans and carefully ladle them into the pan with the onions, add the chopped rhubarb, lemon juice, salt and sugar and bring up to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 6 minutes or until the rhubarb is cooked through and tender. Finish by stirring though the fresh coriander. Add a splash more water to loosen if necessary – the dahl should have the consistency of thick porridge.