Monday, May 2, 2011

Asparagus with mung bean lentil curry ~ Asparagus Poriyal ~ With Stepwise pictures

Ever since I tried asparagus in this curry (kootu) for the first time, I have been using it in various types of curries. Surprisingly all types of curries with asparagus taste good, making it very easy to include this healthy vegetable in our weekly menu. Among the different curries, one of my favorites is this asparagus with mung lentil curry. It is a dry curry with no gravy and it makes a perfect side dish for a south Indian meal. This curry with some plain steamed rice and a sambar/ rasam/ or mor kozhambu makes for a very satisfying  meal.

This curry can be made on the stove top or in the microwave, I personally preferred making it in the microwave because it allows me to cook and serve it in the same dish. Either way this curry gets done very quickly and does not involve any lengthy steps like grinding masala or anything of that sort. So if you too are keen to include asparagus more frequently, give this curry a try. It is a simple and delicious way to include asparagus in the weekly menu.  

Veg Inspirations: Asparagus Mung Bean Curry ~ Poriyal ~ With Stepwise pictures

Click here for a printable view of this recipe

Ingredients and Method to make Asparagus with mung bean lentil curry (poriyal)
1/3 cup split mung bean lentil (mung dhal) soaked for 30 minutes in  water
1.75 lbs of asparagus ends cut off and cut into small pieces (yielded 4 heaped cups of asparagus pieces)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste

1 Tbsp coconut oil (can be substituted with any other oil)
1 tsp mustards seeds (rai/ kadagu)
1 tsp split black gram lentil (udad dhal)
pinch of asafoetida powder (hing/perungayam)
2 whole dry red chilies broken into small pieces (or to taste)
8 to 10 curry leaves broken into small pieces (optional but recommended)

1/4 cup fresh or frozen grated coconut (if frozen thaw to room temperature)

Soak the lentils in water for 30 minutes or so. Cook it on the stove top or in the microwave until it is semi cooked, adding only as much water as is required.

Add asparagus, turmeric powder, salt to taste and sprinkle some water and allow it to cook until soft yet not mushy.

In a small pan, heat oil add mustard seeds. When the seeds begin to splutter, add split black gram lentil. When the lentil begins to turn reddish, add asafoetida powder , red chili pieces and curry leaves and stir a couple of times. Pour the entire seasoning on the cooked asparagus with lentil mixture and mix well.

Heat for a couple of minutes for the flavors to mingle. Garnish with coconut, mix well.
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Serve hot with plain steamed rice and sambar or rasam or it can even be served with phulkas/ chapathis or any other kind of flat bread

Suggested variation:

Instead of asparagus, green beans can also be used in this recipe. Just string the beans, cut them into little pieces and use in place of asparagus in this recipe.
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