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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Asparagus Almond fat free soup

I am used to using anything and everything to dish up a decent meal. That includes recipes like celery and capsicum pota moong dal, asparagus vendhaya kuzhambu, zucchini poricha kootu etc. OK, OK. I know this sounds funny. And before you start shooing the idea of blending a Mediterranean or a non Indian vegetable into a typical south Indian meal, it is good to know that all the veggies are related to some vegetable of Asian Indian origin and vice versa. Moreover, most of the vegetables in Indian cuisines did not always belong there. They came in via trade routes, wars and political diplomacy. Even today, my grandmother considers Capsicum and peas as "English" vegetables. lol. Here is the picture of a bunch of fresh asparagus.

 Now the soup I am supposed to be writing about! It  is a fairly simple recipe. I generally snip the flowery heads of the asparagus and cut them into 1 inch long pieces. Before I move on to the recipe, a few snippets about asparagus. The shoots are said to make your sweat and urine smell funny the next day. For that matter even a cup of coffee does that. Asparagus is known for its varied medicinal properties and its nutritive value. It is a great way to bring in folic acid, potassium, dietary fiber, and rutin into your diet. It is also one fo the oldest known vegetables native to Europe, North Africa and west Asia.

List of ingredients and the recipe: (serves two)

10-12 Asparagus shoots
10 raw almonds
Salt (to taste)
Kuzhambu powder (I love it in everything)- 1tsp
haldi - a pinch
Bay leaf - 1 tiny one
garlic (optional)
coriander powder, cumin powder - 1tsp each (if not using kuzhambu powder)
Ginger (amount - personal choice)
pepper - pinch

  • Pre soak the almonds (an hour should be ok)
  • Cut the asparagus shoots (1 inch long minus the head and the tough end if you re a picky eater - I use the entire asparagus minus the head)
  •  Dont forget to wash the veggies
  • Add a pinch of salt to the asparagus and pressure cook until soft 
  • Let it cool and puree it in a blender
  • Puree the soaked almonds separately
  • saute garlic in 1/2 tsp olive oil add the bay leaf
  • add the asparagus puree and then the remaining salt, and the choice of spices mentioned above.
  • Let it boil for a two-three minutes
  • Add the almond puree and simmer it for a few more minutes until the contents loose their raw smell (roughly five minutes)
  • Garnish with coriander and Serve with one microwaved lijjat papad...
  • sprinkle in a hint of crushed pepper for that "soup" twist

Enjoy maadi! Before I bid is my bowl of soup....droooooooolllll!

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