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Asparagus with crushed black pepper and cumin

April 25, 2017

When Asparagus is as fresh as it gets in Spring, I prefer to let it shine in its own right. Simply blanched and lightly tossed in ghee (clarified butter), coarsely crushed black pepper and cumin seeds. It retains its crunch and bright color. Toasting black pepper and cumin in a little ghee releases their aroma and complements the asparagus in such a wonderful way that you keep coming back for more.

The inspiration for this recipe comes from a home remedy for colds that my mom always uses. She fries some crushed black pepper and cumin seeds in ghee and mixes it with a morsel of hot steamed rice and a pinch of salt. It tastes wonderful, especially when your taste buds go dead with a cold. Black pepper helps break down the phlegm and cumin seeds are a wonderful aid for digestion.

 

 

Ingredients:

Asparagus - 1 bunch

Black pepper - 1/2 tsp (coarsely crushed)

Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp

Ghee - 1 tbsp

Salt to taste

 

Procedure:

  1. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil.

  2. Wash and trim asparagus. Discard the bottom 1 -2 inches or so (the part that is hard and fibrous). Break one asparagus with your hands and see where it naturally breaks. I cut them into half because my son does not like the tops. That's purely optional. They look pretty when they are not cut. 

  3. Keep a bowl of iced water ready.

  4. Add asparagus to the boiling water and wait for 40 seconds to a minute. When they turn a bright green color, skim them out and add to the iced water. This stops the cooking and they retain their bright color. The time they need to turn green will depend on the thickness of the asparagus. The ones I got were skinny and it took 40 seconds approximately.

  5. Take them out of the iced water once they cool down.

  6. I usually do till this step and keep them ready for when I am ready to serve them.

  7. Take a pan and add ghee, once it is warm add crushed black pepper and cumin seeds and fry till they are sizzling. Add asparagus and salt to taste. Saute till all the asparagus gets coated in the ghee and spices.

  8. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

 

Wash and trim asparagus. Discard the bottom 1 -2 inches or so (the part that is hard and fibrous). Break one asparagus with your hands and see where it naturally breaks. I cut them into half because my son does not like the tops. That's purely optional. They look pretty when they are not cut. 

 

 

Keep a bowl of iced water ready.

Add asparagus to the boiling water and wait for 40 seconds to a minute. When they turn a bright green color, skim them out and add to the iced water. This stops the cooking and they retain their bright color. The time they need to turn green will depend on the thickness of the asparagus. The ones I got were skinny and it took 40 seconds approximately.

 

Take them out of the iced water once they cool down.

 

I usually do till this step and keep them ready for when I am ready to serve them.

Coarsely crush whole black pepper. Please do not use powdered black pepper, when coarse black pepper gets toasted in ghee, the taste is amazing. If you use powder, you will not get that taste.

 

Take a pan and add ghee, once it is warm add crushed black pepper and cumin seeds and fry till they are sizzling.

 

Add asparagus and salt to taste. Saute till all the asparagus gets coated in the ghee and spices. J

 Just for a few seconds. The asparagus has to retain it's crunch and fresh nature.

 

Serve immediately.

 

 

Enjoy this fresh side dish on it's own or serve it with hummus for a substantial snack.

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Hi There

I'm Sirisha. I cook simple vegetarian food. You will find Indian vegetarian family recipes and will be privy to my experiments. Happy cooking!

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