Friday, April 14, 2006

My Take On Asparagus Poriyal/Vepudu (with dal powders)

I have never made poriyal before. Sure, I did saute veggies before and added coconut to it. I am not sure if that is poriyal though. I would love to be enlightened :). Poriyal as far as I know is a Tamil dish and basically a dry saute of veggies without adding any water. I am not sure if the word alone means something. Tamil friends, please enlighten me here :).

I had some asparagus leftover from my sphaghetti squash and asparagus lettuce wraps and decided to cook them up Tamil style. I say "my take" in the title above because I *think* I may have altered the basic poriyal recipe by adding some additional ingredients especially the masala. I had seen one of my Tamil friends do this for a totally different recipe and I felt like adapting it :).

Okay, so here I go!

Making the masala

  • 3 tbsp chana dal/shanaga pappu
  • 2 tbsp urad dal/minapa pappu
  • 2 tbsp toor dal/kandhi pappu
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds/dhaniyalu
  • 8-10 Indian red chilis/mirchi
one small pan

  • Dry roast all the ingredients seperately and cool. Grind everything in a spice grinder. You will only need about 3 tbsp of this masala for the asaparagus. Store the rest in an air tight container for later use.
Making the poriyal

  • About 20 stalks of asparagus
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, minched
  • 2 tbsp of freshly grated coconut (or dry if fresh not available)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves, cut in half
  • 3 tbsp of the above masala powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsps of chopped coriander leaves
One pan

  • Cut off the woody stems on one end. To easily tell where to cut, Hold one asparagus in your hand and slowly bend it, it naturally breaks into two pieces, about 2-3 inches on one end. Cut the other asaparagus stalks using the same method, using the one broken one as a guide.
  • Then cut the aspargus into very small pieces - about 1/2 inch pieces.
  • Put the pan on medium heat, add the oil to the pan, add the mustard and cumin seeds. Add the curry leaves after they splutter. Add the onions and fry until they are translucent. Add the garlic and ginger, fry for a minute or so.
  • Add the asparagus pieces, stir, cook for a couple of minutes. Add salt.
  • Increase the heat to medium-high, cook for about 5-10 minutes until the asparagus is soft. I had to add about 1/3 cup of water to help it cook half way through the process because it was sticking to the pan. But the water eventually evaporated so that wasn't an issue.
  • Sprinkle about 3 tbsp of the masala to the asparagus, stir and cook for another couple of minutes. Turn of the heat.
  • Sprinkle the cilantro leaves.
The poriyal was surprisingly good. I could not believe how easy it was and how wonderful it tasted. I think I took the poriyal off the heat before it was all the way cooked so it still had the crunch to it and I loved it. So it is up to you, you can either cook it until it is totally soft or leave a little crunch to it. Asparagus is going to make it to my shopping list more often now!

Serving Suggestion: I ate this with both chapathis and rice with some rasam and it tasted heavenly both ways.

PS: Two of my three entries (spinach chutney w/ chapathi chips and panini - desi style) submitted for VKN's cooking competetion have been selected for voting. If you like my entries, please show your support by voting for my entries. Thank you!


Santhi said...

did u ever eat asparagus aftre roasting it on the stove????
I hve an electric stove and I did roast on it. It tastes DELICIOUS..

Vineela said...

Hi L2C,
I made fry with beans & Asparagus(vepudu).Its really Yummy.I love the taste .Cheers.

BDSN said...

Hey L2C...

Poriyal is nothing but a dry curry.Well I have never tried asparagus idea..will surely try..

Lakshmi said...

never tried any curry with asparagus before. will try it.
nice recipe L2C.

Menu Today said...

Surely Gonna try this

Priya Bhaskaran said...

L2C, I always stare at this vegetable at the grocery stores. I dont have any recipe to do with this vegie. Now I have one! Thanks for sharing this recipe. I have bookmarked it:)

LERA said...

Poriyal with asparagus sounds cool !

sailu said...

we dont get asparagus here in my city..:(

Ashwini said...

We have a preparation called upkari which is v similar to the poriyal - mustard seeds, curry leaves, red chilli, urad dal and coconut are as far as I know the staple ingredients. I love the idea of asparagus poriyal! V creative L2C!

KrishnaArjuna said...

Never tried anything with asparagus till now. Great recipe!!

wheresmymind said...

Mmmm...that looks yum, Asparagas is one of my fav. veggies :)

Courtney said...

Hey Luvvy-
Just letting you know... we at the NC have quoted a blurb of yours on an Random spice-Punx sideblog.

Keep the creativity free-flowing....

Luv2cook said...


Nope. Never had asparagus on the stove. Got to try it.

Vineela, Lera - thanks.

BDSN - thanks for the information..

Lakshmi, MT, Priya, KA - do try and it let me know if you like it..

Sailu - yeah, I know how it feels like. We don't get all the Indian veggies here so I try to make do with what I get :)...

Ashwini - learning new things every day, would love to hear about blog about it when you get a chance..

Wheresmymind - is now one of my favorite veggies too :)

Courtney - cool...thanks!

Garam Masala said...

This sounds great! I've never dared to mix asparagus into Indian food. This is a very creative use of the veg!

Vidhya said...

Good poriyal with asparagus. I used to stare and wonder that I dont know any recipes for this veggie. Will try that soon and send you the comments

Anonymous said...

hi this dish seem to be good.
You have mentioned coconut in the ingredients but never explained what to do with that in the preparation column.

induhari said...

thank u for the recipe im goin to try it tom itself