5.2.14 Masala Asparagus
I don’t know about you, but after that winter we just survived, I am beyond excited for some real, fresh, locally grown goodness. And with the outdoor farmer’s markets in full swing at last, I’m absolutely thrilled. There are few things I love more than shopping the farmer’s markets and coming home with ridiculous amounts of fresh produce. It’s wonderful.
And right now, I’m especially looking forward to asparagus. With its imminent arrival at the stores and farmer’s markets, I’m always looking for new things to do with it. In the past, I’ve cooked asparagus in a lot of different ways. When you eat as much of it as I do, it’s good to have some variety in there. I love roasting it, shaving it into salads, throwing it into soups, risottos and pastas - let’s be honest, you can do a lot of delicious things with asparagus. Recently, however, I made a particularly delicious asparagus dish, and I feel like I would be remiss not to share it with you immediately.
The inspiration for this dish comes from one we had on our recent travels to India. The dish in question was a vegetable side dish of spicy okra. I admit that, not being a huge okra fan (it’s so slimy!), I was hesitant to try it. But once I did, I was surprised by how much I liked it. The okra was in fact not slimy at all, and was cooked with so many delicious spices, it tasted absolutely wonderful. I actually had seconds. And after returning home and thinking about it, I figured a similar preparation would be delicious with asparagus as well. Especially since I knew I’d be picking up plenty of asparagus at the farmer’s markets in the very near future. It was perfect. And so, I whipped up this masala asparagus. As predicted, it was amazing. Spicy, tender asparagus, tossed with fragrant onions, ginger, garlic, tomato, and plenty of spices - you should probably go and make this immediately. You won’t regret it.
serves 2 as a side
- 1 Tbsp canola oil
- ½ tsp whole brown mustard seeds
- ½ medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ tsp finely grated ginger
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ large tomato, chopped
- ½ lb asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp coriander powder
- ½ tsp cumin powder
- ¼ tsp red chile powder (or more if you like more heat)
- 1 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
1. Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat and add the mustard seeds.
2. After about 1 minute, add the onion, garlic, ginger and turmeric powder, and cook until onion is soft, about 3-4 minutes.
3. Add the tomato, and cook until it’s soft and releasing juices, about 2-3 minutes more.
4. Add the asparagus and salt, stir to combine, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook until asparagus is just tender - about 5 minutes.
5. Remove cover, and stir in the coriander, cumin, and chile powders. Season with salt to taste. Cook for 1-2 minutes more, then remove from heat and stir in the chopped cilantro. Serve immediately.