I love asparagus. We here in the ToastPoint household buy asparagus nearly every time we go to the store, regardless of season (take that Michael Pollan!). But as good as basic steamed asparagus is, sometimes you want something a little more interesting. Especially in the winter when puttering around the kitchen and fussing with multiple hot pans is more appealing.
And how can you lose by adding oil, spices, yogurt, tomato, and nuts? The result is really good (if not nearly as good for you as the steamed version), and suitable for serving to foodies.
Disclosure: The fine people at The Lisa Ekus Group sent me this cookbook (for free!) umpteen months ago and I have been sitting on this recipe since then, because I am an ungrateful wretch. It's a pretty book full of pretty food, and would be good for those who have mastered the basics and are in the market for a take-it-to-the-next level Indian cookbook for dinner party recipes.
Indian Asparagus with Pistachios
(based on Hari Nayak and Vikas Khanna's Sweet and Sour Asparagus with Cashews from Modern Indian Cooking)
Boil for 2 minutes, plunge into cold water, and then set aside:
1 lb asparagus
In a large skillet, warm over medium high heat:
3 Tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
Quickly add and cook until golden brown:
1 large onion, thinly sliced
Add and fry for one minute:
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 small chili peppers, de-seeded and minced
1 Tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 large tomato, chopped (I used a small can of diced tomatoes, drained)
1/4 cut yogurt
Cook for a minute or two, then add the asparagus and cook for another minute or two.
Serve garnished with pistachios (or the cashews in the original recipe)