I love it that we are introduced to so many varieties of produce here, some familiar and some not so familiar ones. The end of winter is always a welcome sign. Spring brings with it some gorgeous produce. Not that I don’t enjoy winter melons and squashes. Still, I feel there is something special about spring produce.
You may remember that I take part in a monthly themed blogging challenge with a bunch of friends. This month’s theme is to use a new-to-you vegetable/fruit in a recipe. Basically, something that takes you outside your comfort zone and lets you explore a little.
I have been trying many new vegetables this season. I found beautiful Swiss chard the other day at our Farmer’s Market and I loved it in a South Indian style stir fry with coconut and curry leaves. Simple and wholesome. And this week, I actually had my first taste of bok choy. Honestly, I don’t know what was keeping me from trying all these new (to me) vegetables. I guess it is sheer habit that makes me reach for the familiar ones every time.
But for the challenge, I decided to use asparagus. Apart from being stunningly green and beautiful, they are chock full of nutrients. It is not that I have never had asparagus. I have, but sadly, I am at a loss when it comes to including it in our regular meal rotation. Simply blanching and salting these beauties like it is done in restaurants here really doesn’t appeal to our Indian palate.
How else do I use them? Maybe along with these pretty vine-ripened tomatoes? Aren’t they gorgeous?
One can try all the haute and happening cuisines from around the world, but comfort is when you go back to your roots. And nothing says comfort to me like eggs.
I could have made any number of things with asparagus. But I wanted to use them in a way that was close to my heart. Something that was simple, familiar and nourishing.
And that, my dears, is how and why I put asparagus in a simple egg masala. It is not a mind-boggling recipe. Rather, it is a recipe that ensures that we will as a family eat this vegetable again and again. Because now I know there is more to asparagus than boiling or roasting. It can stand up to Indian spices and flavors… and rather well at that.
I almost expected the asparagus to be lost amid all the spices and tomatoes, but to my surprise, they ended up being the star of the show. And also the peas. How can one have egg masala without the freshest green peas?
Egg masala is a very quick recipe that is usually had as an accompaniment to steamed rice or flatbreads like chapatis and appams. The very basic recipe just needs sauteed onions, ginger, garlic, tomatoes and the usual spices. But you can add any number of vegetables to it. It is very versatile that way and you don’t need to make another vegetable side. I usually add mushrooms or potatoes, but the asparagus, peas and eggs combo was rather excellent.
ASPARAGUS, PEAS AND EGG MASALA
You will need: (Serves 4)
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Onion – 1 large, finely chopped
- Ginger – 1 tbsp, finely chopped
- Garlic – 2 cloves, finely chopped
- Green chilies – 2, sliced
- Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
- Red chili powder – 1 tsp
- Coriander powder – 1 1/2 tsp
- Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp
- Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp
- Tomato – 1 large, chopped
- Asparagus – 1/2 lb, cut into 1″ long pieces
- Green peas – 1/2 cup
- Salt – to taste
- Lime juice – 2 tsp
- Cilantro leaves – a few stalks, roughly torn
- Eggs – 4, large
- Boil and peel the eggs and set aside.
- Heat oil in a deep skillet or pan and add the cumin seeds. When they start to change color, throw in the onions, ginger, garlic and green chilies. Saute till onions are translucent, but not browned.
- Add the turmeric, red chili, coriander, cumin and garam masala powders. Stir around for a few seconds till well combined.
- Add the tomatoes and cook till they are broken down and mushy. Then add the asparagus and green peas. Sprinkle some water, add salt, cover and cook till vegetables are tender-crisp.
- Open the lid, sprinkle some lime juice and cilantro leaves to garnish. Fold in the boiled egg halves. Serve hot with steamed rice or flatbreads like chapatis and rotis.
Like I mentioned above, this blog post is part of the monthly “Cooking With Friends” themed blog post challenge. This challenge was started by a bunch of virtual friends united by their love of food, with the aim of tackling a different food related theme each month. If you want to try this month’s theme, please feel free to do so and link your recipe in the comments section. We’d love to check it out.
Meanwhile, check out what the others in the group have come up with this month.
- Dolphia of Story Of Cooks
- Garima of Cafe Garima
- Jayasri of My Veg Fare
- Jyothi of Curry Trail
- Madhuri of Mad About Kitchen
- Subhasmita of The Flavours Of Kitchen
- Sujatha of Spices N Treats
Here is a recap of the previous months’ posts.
- April 2015: Frozen Treat (Mango Ice Cream Sundae)
- March 2015: Beverages/Cocktails (Sunrise Mocktail)
- February 2015: Snacks (Masala Vadai And Cardamom Tea)
I am linking this up at these awesome blogs.
- A Blossoming Life
- Skip To My Lou
- Between Naps on the Porch
- Home Stories A To Z
- A Stroll Thru Life
- Cedar Hill Ranch
- Coastal Charm
- Elizabeth & Co
- Savvy Southern Style
- The NY Melrose Family
- The Turquoise Home
- Living Well Spending Less
- The Shabby Nest
- French Country Cottage
- My Romantic Home
- The Charm of Home
- Crafts a la Mode
- The Novice Gardener
- DIY Show Off
- Nifty Thrifty Things
- By Stephanie Lynn