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Savoury Rhubarb and Cinnamon Red Lentil Curry

This savoury rhubarb recipe is proof that rhubarb doesn’t have to be reserved just for dessert. This tangy and spicy quick curry is delicious and it owes its flavour to the magnificent sticks of red!

Savoury rhubarb curry

Whilst I do love a good rhubarb dessert, rhubarb deserves more than just being caked in sugar and boiled into insignificance. I now use rhubarb in lots of savoury dishes. It adds a wonderfully tangy heat to any dish. It’s perfect for this smooth and sumptuous curry recipe.

When to eat

We recommend eating this dish from February through to June. Forced rhubarb (grown in the dark) appears at the beginning of the year and is tender and tart. In April field grown varieties start to appear which are less tender but more flavoursome.

Savoury Rhubarb and Cinnamon Red Lentil Curry

Although Rhubarb is a vegetable, the majority of its uses in cooking are reserved to deserts. It's tangy and crisp flavour pair well with sugar, lending itself well to being used in pies and crumbles. However, rhubarb can be excellent in savoury dishes as well as I attempt to show in this wonderfully simple and light curry.
4.46 from 182 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Course Main Course

This meal is around 91% less polluting than the average UK meal.

Eating this recipe will save around 2.69 KG CO2e per person.

That’s equivalent to the emissions produced driving 22.20 KM in a modern car.

How do I calculate this?


  • 200 g Rhubarb (very finely sliced)
  • 2 Large Onions (finely diced)
  • 4 Cloves Garlic (finely diced)
  • 2 Teaspoons Caster Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons Garam Masala
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (or generic chilli powder)
  • 750 ml Vegetable Stock
  • 300 g Split Red Lentils
  • 150 g Spinach
  • 30 g Fresh Coriander (roughly chopped)
  • 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil


  • Heat the tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat. Pour in the chopped onions and garlic. Fry for about 2-3 minutes until the onions are nice and soft.
  • Add the 200g of sliced rhubarb into the frying pan along with the 2 tablespoons of garam masala, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 2 teaspoons of caster sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Cook for around a minute, stirring well to combine.
  • Tip in the 300g red lentils and 750ml of vegetable stock. Bring the pan to the boil, then turn down to a simmer, cover and cook for around 13 – 15 minutes until the lentils are cooked and the stock has reduced to a thick sauce.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and season to taste. Then stir in the 150g spinach and 30g chopped coriander. Stir the spinach and coriander until they have wilted sufficiently.
  • Serve the curry immediately. I recommend eating it with fluffy pilau rice or a fresh naan. Alternatively it can be eaten on its own as a semi-dhal. Enjoy!

Hi i'm Hugo

I started Lowly to help more people discover sustainable food. Planet-friendly food doesn’t have to be bland and boring. My recipes celebrate how diverse and flavourful it truly is.

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April 26, 2022 at 11:54 am

Amazing recipe! Thank you. It’s great to find something that uses current crops. I think I can add a bit more rhubarb to the recipe and it’d still be fab!


    April 27, 2022 at 9:11 pm

    Lovely to hear Lise, I’m all about using current crops!


May 20, 2022 at 6:32 pm

Love your site! So many great recipes! Just need help with conversions from metric to Imperial system measurements. It would be nice to have those in parentheses!


    May 21, 2022 at 12:57 pm

    Hi Jan, thanks for your kind words. Yes I need to add in the unit conversions, I just haven’t had time yet. Hopefully I’ll get round to it soon!


May 21, 2022 at 12:52 pm

No salt?


    May 21, 2022 at 12:56 pm

    Hi Rabarbara, I recommend seasoning to taste after the lentils have cooked (see step 4). I personally use about 1 teaspoon of good quality sea salt.


May 21, 2022 at 1:32 pm

I just tried this, but I prepared it in my own way (without onion and garlic). The combination of rhubarb, spinach, lentils (I used split yellow ones), cinnamon and garam masala is a good find. And it was done in an instant! I ate it as a standalone in between soup, and that was very fine.

Thank you for sharing!


May 24, 2022 at 5:27 pm

Awesome! I wanted to try something with rhubarb that wasn’t sweet. This recipe is amazing! I served it over a small portion of white rice.


    June 24, 2022 at 11:22 am

    Great news Laura!


June 24, 2022 at 11:12 am

Hello Hugo,
I’ve just accidentally come across your web page while I was searching for a recipe to make with Rhubarb.
I have never thought of cooking Rhubarb as a savoury main dish and have my eye on the recipe you have on here called Savoury Rhubarb and cinnamon red lentil curry. It looks really inspiring and I’m looking forward to giving it a go! It’s also so very enlightening and educating to read and learn about the carbon footprint this recipe has.
Thank you for all this new information. I look forward to reading more on here.


    June 24, 2022 at 11:23 am

    No problem Evelyn, glad you’re enjoying the site. I hope you kike the curry!!


June 25, 2022 at 5:14 pm

Fantastic recipe!
Absolutely delicious and amazing to use rhubarb in a savoury way!
Thank you!


    June 27, 2022 at 9:34 am

    Glad to hear it!


August 20, 2022 at 8:45 pm

I really love this recipe! I was excited to find a way to enjoy rhubarb in a savoury kind of way. I’ve made it twice now, and will definitely continue to do so, because here in Manitoba rhubarb grows like CRAZY and there will always be room to make more rhubarb things.


    August 22, 2022 at 9:07 am

    Thanks Kyla. I’m glad I could help out with your rhubarb conundrum!


April 12, 2023 at 5:42 pm

Hi Hugo. I just tried this recipe with our first home grown forced rhubarb of the season. I didn’t have any spinach but it was delicious. Thank you. It will become a regular favourite of ours.


May 3, 2023 at 4:30 pm

Just made your Savoury Rhubarb and Cinnamon Red Lentil Curry with rhubarb picked from the garden.
Absolutely delicious, never dreamt of using rhubarb in a curry. Our vegan family members loved it, thanks for sharing 👍

Clare T

June 27, 2023 at 10:09 am

A great recipe. I had been searching for something savoury with Rhubarb. What a find.
Like that the recipes print easily in B&W.
Could I suggest you add your website to the bottom of a print out as it is a revelation


July 31, 2023 at 4:09 pm

This is wonderful – I love rhubarb and this recipe is phenomenal. Everybody loved it – and that was from 5 year old grandson to my aunt (85!). Thank you so very much. It’s now a weekly favourite throughout the rhubarb season.

Paul Athey

September 8, 2023 at 6:09 pm

Hi the rhubarb cinnamon and red lentil curry was very tasty , is it suitable for freezing ?

    Clare Catherine Toberty

    December 20, 2023 at 8:30 am

    Yes, I cook the curry in batches and freeze.


March 25, 2024 at 5:48 am

Still waiting on my rhubarb growing a bit but can’t wait to try this out. I plan on swapping the spinach with some nettles that are also just beginning to grow around my garden. Love a good deal and looking forward to trying this out. Thanks for the idea.


April 9, 2024 at 10:10 pm

Looks like a great recipe! I was given a load of beautiful rhubarb to-day – have frozen most of it, but have prepped 200g, and intend to make the curry to-morrow. Can’t wait!

Kathleen Spare

May 6, 2024 at 3:19 pm

I got a carrier bag full of rhubarb and searched for recipes… first one I tried was a tomato and rhubarb soup… the next one I came across was your curry … absolutely delicious… who would have thought there is life beyond rhubarb crumble …
I found the video very helpful…


May 16, 2024 at 8:17 pm

Been wondering what ti do with all our rhubarb. Roots are 110 years old and flourishing. Tomorrow‘s dinner is definitely a variation on your recipe depending on what I find. Cheers


May 17, 2024 at 3:59 pm

I made this last night and have to say it was a real winner! A friend had given me some rhubarb from her garden, and I just didn’t feel like making anything sweet. My only substitutions were leeks for onions & mixed greens for spinach. Besides a tasty dinner I also enjoyed learning about the “rhubarb triangle” in Yorkshire (I’m in the northwest US). Thanks so much for a recipe that I’ll be sharing.


May 27, 2024 at 1:04 am

Very filling and well flavoured. I think I would also add a bit more rhubarb next time. Thanks for a great recipe!