Indian Stir Fry of Chicken with Asparagus and Snow Pea Pods is a fast and delicious dish that makes glorious use of spring produce.
In case my posting speed has not made it clear, we are still in the weeds! We are using the kitchen, by which I mean cooking in it, but that just means the chaos is worse than ever. The backsplash, wall painting, vent chimney and coffee center counter (and window counter–they are moving some leftover granite into the sill) still need to be done, but we can put stuff away, so boxes are slowly making their way back into the kitchen. I need to make a run to The Container Store and get organization systems for my cabinets. I am a filler, as my sister would say–which means whatever space I have, I fill it. And when it comes to thing like bags of every kind of grain in existence, that isn’t good. So I need to get my stuff under control.
Wish me luck.
But here’s the progress so far (pardon the mid-unpacking, mid-cooking mess):
Back to the food. This Indian Stir Fry of Chicken with Asparagus and Snow Pea Pods is exactly the dish you need this spring. Bright green and crunchy-crisp tender from the pea pods, it is the perfect weeknight dinner to celebrate the season. And best of all, like all stir fries, it comes together very quickly and easily as long as you are organized before you begin cooking.
This Indian stir fry is a great example of the fact that lime juice and lemon juice are pretty interchangeable when being used as acids to perk a dish up (versus, for example, a lemon cake, which clearly tastes different from a lime cake). I was out of limes, which are the more intuitive choice, but the lemons worked beautifully. Everyone adored this dish.
One last note: use more freshly ground black pepper if you can take the heat. I provided a large range because Alex cannot handle the heat of too much black pepper.
- 1/2 t ground turmeric
- 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper, plus more later
- 1 t kosher salt
- 2 t starch (I used potato starch, arrowroot or corn would work as well)
- 1 1/2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 1/2 T vegetable oil
- 2-3 T ghee
- 20 fresh or frozen curry leaves
- 1 cup coarsely chopped cashews (roasted is fine)
- 1 medium small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 T minced ginger (or ginger paste)
- 1 T minced garlic (or garlic paste)
- 1 t ground cumin
- 1 t ground coriander
- 1 t garam masala, plus more later
- 2 bunches of asparagus, bottoms broken off and cut into bite-size pieces
- 1/3 - 2/3 cup water (use more water for thicker asparagus)
- 2-3 handfuls snow pea pods, ends cut off and strings removed
- Salt to taste
- juice of half lemon, plus more to taste
- 1 t garam masla, plus more to taste
- 1-3 t freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 T of honey, optional
Whisk together the first 4 ingredients. Then toss the bite sized chicken pieces in the mixture and set aside while you prep everything else.
Heat the oil and ghee over high heat (use medium high if using nonstick) in a large pan or wok. Add cashews and curry leaves--be aware they will splatter!
When the splattering subsides, toss the cashews for 30-60 seconds, then add the sliced onion with a pinch of salt. Toss.
Let the onions cook for 5-7 minutes, until they are translucent anf starting to brown a bit. Add the ginger and garlic and mix in. Let cook for 1-2 minutes, tossing.
- Add the cumin, coriander and garam masala. Toss to roast the spices and mix them into the onions.
Add the chicken and toss. Keep the food moving to prevent scorching, Cook until the chicken is cooked on the outside (but not yet cooked through).
Add the asparagus with the water--you want enough to water to help boil and steam the asparagus tender--use less water for more slender asparagus.
Toss the food to mix it all together, and then let the water boil off, about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the pea pods and toss. Cook for about 3 minutes. By now, the asparagus should be tender, the pea pods should be crisp-tender and the chicken should be cooked through.
Add the lemon juice, another teaspoon of garam masala, and at least 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Taste for more lemon juice, garam masala, freshly ground black pepper, salt or even a small drizzle of honey. Serve immediately over rice--this dish works with Basmati or jasmine rice.
Looking for an Indian Stir Fry collage to pin?