Making the masala

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp chana dal
  • 2 tbsp urad dal
  • 2 tbsp toor dal
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 8-10 Indian red chillies

Method:

  1. 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.
  2. Store the rest in an air tight container for later use.

Making the poriyal


Ingredients:

  • About 20 stalks of asparagus
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, minched
  • 2 tbsp of freshly grated coconut (dessicated if unavailable)
  • 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

Method:

  1. Cut off the woody stems from the asparagus spears.
  2. Then cut the asparagus into very small pieces - about 1 cm (~1/2 in) pieces.
  3. Put the pan on medium heat, add the oil to the pan, add the mustard and cumin seeds. Add the curry leaves after the seeds splutter.
  4. Add the onions and fry until they are translucent. Add the garlic and ginger, fry for a minute or so.
  5. Add the asparagus pieces, stir, cook for a couple of minutes. Add salt.
  6. Increase the heat to medium-high, cook for about 5-10 minutes until the asparagus is soft. (You may need to add a little water if sticking is a problem. The additional water will evaporate so there's no harm done).
  7. Sprinkle about 3 tbsp of the masala to the asparagus, stir and cook for another couple of minutes. Turn off the heat.
  8. Sprinkle the cilantro leaves as a garnish.
It may be  cooked it until it is totally soft or if you prefer you can leave a little crunch to it.

Serving Suggestion: chapathis and rice or with some rasam.