Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible


Rhubarb Tkemali (Georgian Rhubarb Sauce)



  • Yield: Makes 2 cups; enough to serve 8
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  • 1 pound rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt (sea or kosher), or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar, or to taste

Step 1: Combine the rhubarb and water in a heavy nonreactive saucepan and cook, uncovered, over medium heat until the rhubarb is soft and mushy, 8 minutes.

Step 2: Stir in the lemon juice, oil, garlic, coriander, salt, and pepper flakes and simmer for 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and process to a smooth puree. Return the puree to the saucepan and stir in the cilantro and dill.

Step 3: Continue simmering the sauce until thick and flavorful, 3 minutes. Correct the seasoning, adding salt or sugar to taste; tkemali should be highly seasoned and tart (but not unpalatably sour). Let cool to room temperature and serve. Refrigerated, the sauce will keep for at least 1 week.

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