After coming to Melbourne, my culinary world has opened up to so many new ingredients – some of which I did not even know existed in this world. And one among those is the purple asparagus! I have had green asparagus before and have always enjoyed the crunchy texture of these stalks. So when I came across these purple ones at the local farmer’s market, I knew I had to try and make something interesting with it.
I have always had asparagus as an accompaniment, roasted or blanched, with meats. I went ahead and did a rice dish, chopping these beautiful asparagus along with some brown mushrooms and seasoned with hot Cajun seasoning. The result – a pilaf, pulao or fried rice; name it what you want.
This one is a simple and easy to make rice dish, perfect for weekday dinners. Add a cucumber raita/yoghurt dip and you are good to go!
Now, let’s get cooking….
1. Long-grained rice – 2 cups, soaked and drained
2. White onion – 1 large, chopped
3. Purple asparagus (remove the bottom ends) – 4 stalks, chopped
4. Brown mushrooms – 4 large, chopped
5. Garlic – 2 cloves, chopped finely
6. Coriander leaves – ½ cup, finely chopped
7. Cajun seasoning – 2 tsp (add more to suit your taste preferences)
8. Salt – to season
9. Black pepper – to season
10. Vegetable oil – 3 tbsp.
• Cook the rice in salted boiling water, drain well and keep aside.
• Heat oil in a pan, add garlic and onions; sauté for a minute.
• Then add the mushrooms and asparagus and sauté for another 2 minutes on high heat.
• Lower heat and season with Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper. Remember that the rice has been cooked in salted water so add salt accordingly.
• Add coriander leaves and stir well.
• Add the rice and mix well to combine.
• Serve with chilled cucumber raita/yoghurt dip.
What is your favourite rice dish?