I can’t believe that I haven’t posted any recipes this month. Well, I guess I was busy with Easter preparations and became lazy after that. So here comes a recipe for Asparagus Thoran. I never had the courage to try Asparagus, though I had heard a lot about its nutritional benefits. Well, one of my friends suggested making Stir Fry (Mezhkkupuratti) with Asparagus and told me that it was delicious. I went ahead and laid my hands on Asparagus for the first time in my life. I made a simple thoran with it and it tasted good. Later own, I came to know from my sis-in-law that Asparagus is often pickled in Kerala, which again surprised me.
Asparagus is low in calories, contains no cholesterol, is very low in sodium and is a good source of fiber. The stalks of Asparagus are used for cooking. It is known as Shatavari in Malayalam. While making asparagus thoran, discard the hard end (lower portion) of the stalk. You can easily break off the tough end of the asparagus with your hands. You can have this Asparagus Stir Fry with rice.
A Word of Caution
Asparagus can cause odorous urine in some people. It is caused by the breaking down of some chemical components in asparagus. It is believed that both the generation of the odoriferous urine and the ability to smell it are based on genetics.You can read more about is here. So do not be surprised if you get a pungent odor in your urine after eating asparagus.
- Green Asparagus – 1 bunch
- Sliced Shallots (Kunjulli/Pearl Onions) – 1/2 cup
- Dried Red Chillies – 4 or 5
- Curry Leaves – A sprig
- Grated Coconut – 1 Cup
- Crushed Garlic – 4 or 5 cloves
- Grated Cumin (Jeera) – 1/2 tsp
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
- Red Chilly powder – 1/2 tsp
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Salt – to taste
- Discard the hard end of each asparagus stalk. Slice it into thin, elongated pieces of about 1 inch length.
- Mix together coconut, turmeric powder, red chilly powder, cumin and garlic using your hands or you can coarsely grind everything together.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a non stick pan and splutter mustard seeds. Add shallots, red chillies and curry leaves and saute for a few minutes.
- Add the sliced asparagus pieces and saute for a few minutes.
- Next add the coconut mixture along with salt to taste and mix everything together.
- Cover the pan and cook on medium-low flame, stirring occasionally. Do not add water while cooking.
- After 10-12 mins, the asparagus will be cooked. Remove the lid and stir fry for another 4-5 minutes so that the water evaporates completely and the thoran is dry.
- If you want the asparagus to retain its crunchiness, reduce the cooking time.