ASPARAGUS WITH GUNPOWDER MASALA

Impossible to ignore the Indian vibes in our kitchen lately. Of all cuisines, I believe that is the one bringing the most out of veggies. This recipe will blow your mind, and I am certain of it. The gunpowder masala is nutty, with the perfect level of heat and complex mixture of flavors. As my friend Joanne said in her blog post, it will be good on pretty much anything. I urge you to make it, even if finding curry leaves could be a bit tricky.

BLISTERED ASPARAGUS WITH GUNPOWDER MASALA
(from Joanne’s blog Eats well with Others)

for the Masala:
100 g raw cashews
35 g raw pepitas
30 g dried red chilies de arbol (or to taste)
20-25 fresh curry leaves (I used 10 dried leaves)
2 tbsp white or black sesame seeds (I used a mixture)
½ tsp asafetida

for the asparagus:
4 tbsp olive oil
1 lb asparagus, woody ends trimmed
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
sea salt flakes
1-2 tbsp gunpowder masala (or to taste)

Make the masala: Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Once it is hot, add the cashews, pepitas, dried chilies, curry leaves, and sesame seeds. Toast them, stirring occasionally, until the seeds are starting to brown. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Once cool, grind in a food processor or blender along with the asafetida to a coarse powder. Pour into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.

Make the asparagus: Heat a cast iron skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. In a large bowl or on a sheet pan, toss the asparagus with 1 tbsp of the olive oil. Add the asparagus to the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes, turning occasionally, until blistered on at least 2 sides. Transfer the cooked asparagus to a serving platter. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and lime juice. Sprinkle with the salt flakes and gunpowder masala. Serve immediately, and swoon!

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: The other day I was part of a conversation about food blogging and how tiring it is the over-use of certain adjectives to describe a dish. Life-changing, fantastic, mind-blowing (guilty as charged)… So let’s stop going there. This is a great masala that I can see being paired with many veggies and even animal protein. I envision a beautiful piece of salmon, grilled to perfection and topped with this crunchy concoction, with a nice squeeze of lemon juice. It does need a bit of moisture to shine, so that final drizzle of oil and citric juice is a must.

If you cannot find curry leaves, I’d say make it without. It does have enough going on, and it will still be mighty tasty. The recipe makes more than you’ll need, so keep it in the fridge and find new uses for it. Just yesterday I paired it with sweet potatoes and garbanzo beans, drizzled with a tahini-yogurt sauce.

Joanne, thank you for yet another perfect recipe that will go into our regular rotation for sure!

ONE YEAR AGO: The Home Bakers Collective, April Project

TWO YEARS AGO: Asian-Style Eggplant Meatballs

THREE YEAR AGO: Uzbek Flatbread

FOUR YEARS AGO: First Monday Favorite – Black Sesame FOUR

FIVE YEARS AGO: Chocolate Orange Mini-Cakes

SIX YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen, May 2015

SEVEN YEARS AGO: P90X3, a Review of Tony Horton’s Latest Fitness Program 

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Pasta and Mussels in Saffron Broth

NINE YEARS AGO: Triple Chocolate Brownies

TEN YEARS AGO: Shanghai Soup Dumplings

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Bite-sized Chocolate Pleasure

8 thoughts on “ASPARAGUS WITH GUNPOWDER MASALA

  1. Sally – you said I would love this ! I DO !! I have cooked Asian and Asian-fusion forever and I do not have a recipe like it ! What a fabulous one to try ! Well, you know I’ll have to wait until latish August to taste . . . but shall try another vegetable the same way beforehand . . . not so interested in a protein/masala marriage. The asafoetida or hing powder will suit this beautifully . . . shall send this to friends in the next few days . . . thanks heaps . . . love to both of you and . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. SO glad you liked it and I’m totally stealing that sweet potato idea. Looks freaking amazing. If you’re cooking a lot of Indian food, might I recommend getting a curry leaf tree? My friend gave me one at the start of the pandemic when I couldn’t get to the specialty store to buy them and it has proven SO useful this year. It’s also super low maintenance (only need to water it once a week) and has done well even in an NYC apt.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We’ve been gorging ourselves on asparagus the last few weeks, but haven’t yet used it in an Indian-style dish. This looks terrific (overused word, yes, but accurate!). Haven’t cooked with asafoetida for quite a few years — need to get some again. Neat dish — thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know, right? Over-used, but it’s so hard to avoid those terms. I only blog about stuff we loved, so it’s hard to go….. “this recipe gave us a very satisfying feelings” …. “eating this meal was quite enjoyable” 😉

      Like

Click here to comment, love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.