Thick Andhra Chicken Curry with Green Asparagus

Some people say asparagus is extremely delicate, should be barely seasoned and treated with caution when it comes to spices. Don’t believe them! In this fiery, bold-flavoured curry the asparagus reigns over the remaining ingredients and neither the chilli, nor the other Indian spices have lessened its distinct flavours I’m so fond of. Everything worked so perfectly together, I’m sure it will not be my last Indian experiment with this delicious vegetable.

This dish is a thickened variation of the Chicken with Curry Leaves from Andhra Pradesh (Kodi Gasi), based on a recipe from The Essential Andhra Cookbook: with Hyderabadi and Telengana Specialities by Bilkees I. Latif. As usually I have modified the recipe and the ingredients’ amounts (e.g. making the “sauce” thicker and slimming it down), so make sure you check the original recipe and this fascinating collection of regional dishes.

If you look for other asparagus dishes, you might like some of these:

Asparagus with Chicken and Miso

Asparagus with Chicken and Miso

Asparagus Maki Sushi

Asparagus Maki Sushi

Bread Tartlet with Egg and Asparagus

Bread Tartlet with Egg and Asparagus

Asparagus Teriyaki Pork Rolls

Asparagus Teriyaki Pork Rolls

Chawan Mushi (Egg Custard) with Asparagus

Chawan Mushi (Egg Custard) with Asparagus

Asparagus Tempura

Asparagus Tempura

Filo Rolls with Asparagus, Chorizo and Parmesan

Filo Rolls with Asparagus, Chorizo and Parmesan

Tama Konnyaku with Asparagus

Tama Konnyaku with Asparagus

Rice, Asparagus and Fried Egg

Rice, Asparagus and Fried Egg

Asparagus with Cashew Nuts and Chicken

Asparagus with Cashew Nuts and Chicken

asp_springrollsp

Spring Rolls with Asparagus and Chicken

Asparagus and Bacon Rolls

TIPS:

If you realise you like this curry a lot, I advise preparing a big batch of masala and either keeping it in the fridge (it will keep for five days) or even freezing it in small portions. Then you stir fry onions and curry leaves (if you have them), take a protein source (meat, seafood or paneer, and why not tofu?) or/and a vegetable to the masala, add some water and the quick delicious meal is ready in no time at all!

I always slim down coconut milk-based curries and I did this one too, so if you want to make it creamier, add coconut milk instead of the 100 ml water in the cooking process.

You can obviously adjust the heat level to your preferences and use half mild peppers and half hot peppers, or even use only mild peppers.

You can skip the curry leaves, but do try them if you can get them (I wrote a bit about them here). They will make this dish unforgettable. If you worry about buying a big bag of curry leaves (they are usually sold in big packages), divide them into small portions, wrap tightly in plastic film (or, if you have the vacuum packing machine, vacuum pack them) and freeze. Do not dry them. Dried curry leaves have lost almost all of their aroma, so it’s better to skip them than use dried. Fresh curry leaves can be bought by internet (look for them on Amazon or Ebay).

You can serve this dish topped with fried onion/shallot and curry leaves (the original chicken dish calls for those).

Obviously, you can make this dish vegetarian, skipping the chicken breast.

Preparation: about 30 minutes

Ingredients (serves four):

2 medium chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

approx. 300g of green asparagus spurs, lower tough parts removed

2 tablespoons coconut fat (or any oil of your choice)

3 big European shallots, finely sliced

15 curry leaves (fresh or frozen)

salt, water

Masala:

150 ml coconut milk

4 long fresh red chilli peppers (choose the variety according to your heat resistance), sliced

1 1/2 tablespoon coriander seeds

1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

1 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon crushed garlic (about 3 medium garlic cloves)

4 black peppercorns

2 teaspoons turmeric powder

4 shallots, sliced

1 teaspoon salt

First prepare the masala. Roast the whole spices in a pan (make sure they don’t burn and take the pan off the heat as soon as they start to yield a strong but pleasant smell).

Grind the spices in a coffee grinder, spice grinder or in a mortar.

Mix well with the remaining ingredients in a food processor until you obtain a thick sauce.

Cut up the asparagus spears into bite-sized pieces. Divide into two groups: thick pieces and thin pieces. You will add the latter at the end of the cooking process.

Heat the oil in a shallow pan and stir-fry approx. 2/3 of the shallots with half of the curry leaves.

When the shallots start becoming soft, add the chicken pieces, salt them and stir-fry until slightly browned.

Add the masala, the thicker pieces of asparagus spears, about 100 ml water and let the dish simmer until the chicken is cooked.

Five minutes before the end add the thinner parts of asparagus. Thus, the asparagus will remind crunchy.

(You can serve this curry with fried shallots and curry leaves on top.)

 

 

 

 

14 thoughts on “Thick Andhra Chicken Curry with Green Asparagus

  1. A_Boleyn

    I’ll have to try a spicier version of asparagus one day even though I appreciate its subtler preparations ie. grilled with a pour of hollandaise over the top. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much for such a quick comment! I like asparagus in every possible dish and form (as you might have noticed from the photographs above…) but I must say it’s always a pleasant discovery to realise one’s beloved vegetable is also resistant to spices and heat!

      Reply
    1. Sissi Post author

      Thanks a lot, Katerina. I’ve always loved asparagus, but maybe because I discovered it as an adult…

      Reply
  2. Eva Taylor

    I do love coconut-based curries and adding asparagus made me luck my lips involuntarily as I read through your ingredient list. I haven’t seen curry leaves at the green grocers in a long time, but you’ve convinced me to pick some up next time I do. This dish would be perfect for the cold, rainy, spring days we’ve been having.

    Reply
    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much, Eva. Here the importation ban (it has lasted over a year, I think!) has been unblocked but not completely according to Indian/Sri Lankan shop assistants, so I’ve bought three bunches and froze them! I cannot imagine not having some in stock now… I’m completely hooked.

      Reply
  3. mjskitchen

    Whoops – I’m one of those people that say that asparagus doesn’t need much and doesn’t need to be over seasoned. I usually just steam my asparagus for a couple of minutes then lightly season. However, I do love bacon wrapped spears but then who wouldn’t. 🙂 Never would have considered using curry seasoning on asparagus but you make a nice sell. It not only just looks good, look at that list of spices! What a dish!

    Reply
    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much, MJ. I totally agree: asparagus doesn’t need much, but it’s also surprisingly versatile and spice-resistant vegetable and many of us are not brave enough to test it… I’m so glad I did!

      Reply
  4. Adina

    I haven’t had any asparagu this year yet, I can’t wait for it! This is a great idea, I have made an asparagus curry before and loved it. Your version is totally different though, I’d love to try it.

    Reply
  5. Gerlinde

    I am in Germany and white asparagus is in season. It is very delicate and usually served with boiled potatoes and a hollandaise sauce. I love all your different recipes for the more robust green asparagus.

    Reply
    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you, Gerlinde. As you have noticed I’ve made all of them with green asparagus only (though they are also good with the dark violet variety!). I agree, white asparagus is not as versatile… so I’ve never tested it otherwise than boiled or steamed with a sauce, but I’m sure I would love it with a big dollop of chilli sauce too 🙂

      Reply

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