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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Indian Style Asparagus with Lemon and Cumin

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My dad can make an Indian “sabji” out of just about any vegetable.

A “sabji” is basically an Indian vegetable stir fry with aromatic spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne pepper, mustard seeds, etc.

Traditionally, vegetables like potatoes, cauliflower, peas, spinach, squashes, cabbage, etc. are used in Indian cooking.

Since those spices make the traditional Indian “sabji” vegetables taste amazing, why not asparagus?

I mean seriously, why not.

Asparagus is a gorgeous vegetable, especially when it’s in season, which it is right now.

And the flavors of cumin, lemon, ginger in this dish just elevate it to a whole new level.

I know when I told my husband that my dad made Asparagus “sabji” he made a face. I think he was weirded out by it. But if you call it an “Indian Style Asparagus with Cumin and Lemon” – it doesn’t sound that strange at all 🙂

Which is basically what this is. You can serve it as a side dish, as an appetizer, or you can even use it as a “sabji” if you prefer. You can even save the leftovers and eat it the next day as a snack (which is what I did).

It’s super simple to make, and it’ll be ready in less than 20 minutes. I promise you won’t be disappointed! It’s a healthy vegetarian Indian recipe!

The Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh asparagus
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, grated or minced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice + a pinch of sugar (or 2 Tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
The Directions
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Step 1: Cut the asparagus into bite sized pieces. Heat the oil, and add the cumin seeds. Once they begin to pop, add the ginger. Fry for a few seconds, then add the asparagus.
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Step 2: Add salt, cook uncovered for ~5-10 min, stirring.
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Step 3: When the asparagus begins to caramelize and brown, add the lemon / orange juice to deglaze the pan. As the juice begins to evaporate, turn the heat off. Allow the juice to soak up for a few minutes. Sprinkle with black pepper, stir, and serve.
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Don’t you love that this recipe has 3 steps? And the best part: this ENTIRE recipe has ~200 calories, and 10g fiber. And this recipe makes a LOT of asparagus, definitely enough to serve a couple people. Which means, you can enjoy this virtually guilt-free.
Print Recipe
4.67 from 12 votes

Indian Style Asparagus with Lemon and Cumin

Traditionally, vegetables like potatoes, cauliflower, peas, spinach, squashes, cabbage, etc. are used in Indian cooking. Since those spices make the traditional Indian “sabji” vegetables taste amazing, why not asparagus?
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 56kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Cut the asparagus into bite sized pieces. Heat the oil, and add the cumin seeds. Once they begin to pop, add the ginger. Fry for a few seconds, then add the asparagus.
  • Add salt, cook uncovered for ~5-10 min, stirring.
  • When the asparagus begins to caramelize and brown, add the lemon / orange juice to deglaze the pan. As the juice begins to evaporate, turn the heat off. Allow the juice to soak up for a few minutes. Sprinkle with black pepper, stir, and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 56kcal | Carbohydrates: 5.1g | Protein: 2.6g | Fat: 3.6g | Sodium: 583.6mg | Fiber: 2.4g

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52 responses to “Indian Style Asparagus with Lemon and Cumin”

  1. This was an amazing recipe. Everybody at home loved it. Cumin flavor was the best part. Thank you for a healthy yet delicious recipe. This recipe is a keeper.

  2. Would it ruin the recipe to brown some onion and garlic with the cumin before adding the asparagus? It’s similar to the way I make Bhaji (spinach).

    • Hi Roman! I don’t think that would ruin the recipe at all! I think that would probably work well 🙂 Let me know how it turns out!

    • Hi Vedam! So glad you liked this recipe! Does the shop near you also sell cumin seeds? That would be preferable to cumin powder. Any brand is ok 🙂 Let me know!

  3. Hi,

    I am a massive fan of asparagus and this to me looks like a perfect side dish! Saved the recipe so will certainly have to give it a go, Thanks!!

  4. Thanks for this! Delicious! I made it to go along with some lentil dhal and chicken samosas for dinner. Used coconut oil and ground cumin because it’s what I had on hand and added some garlic and a touch of cayenne ’cause I like it that way. Will definitely make it again!

  5. Incredible recipe, did it with some local organic asparagus and it was as delicious as the pictures look like.

    • Yay!! And now is the best time to cook with asparagus because it’s in season! 🙂 So glad you liked this recipe Erik!

  6. I loved this. I didn’t have the whole cumin on hand, so I just added a little powder. I will be buying the seeds for next time. The lemon flavor was excellent. I will definitely be making it again. I served it with Dal Nirvana from Budget Bytes and fresh naan. Yum..

  7. I made this tonight and it was delicious! And so simple! Will definitely make again, thanks! PS- Your little girl is beautiful!

    • Awesome!! So happy to hear that Barbara! And thank you so much 🙂 We can’t believe she is already 11 weeks old today!

  8. Found your blog searching the internet for asparagus recipes yesterday! I made this sabji for me and my new husband for dinner tonight. Quick and delicious! I look forward to trying out your other recipes. We just recently moved in together and I am trying to get into cooking for us. We both work and have busy schedules but I enjoy cooking as a creative outlet and a way for us to eat healthy. I’m a vegetarian but he is not. Can’t wait to try out another recipe soon 🙂 Thanks!

    • Oh that’s so great! You sound a lot like me — I love cooking as both a way to be creative and inventive and also the added benefit is that we end up eating healthy, home cooked, delicious food. 🙂 Can’t wait to hear how my other recipes turn out for you! Keep me posted on how things go!

  9. This is probably one of the most creative asparagus recipes I’ve seen! Love it!!

  10. Thanks for these dishes as I didn’t know much about asparagus so this will be really helpful to me. I think the recipes all are awesome, thanks once again.

  11. Gosh, I feel quite silly — I wasn’t aware of cumin seeds! Do you think there would be a noticeable taste difference between ground cumin and cooking with the whole seeds?

    • Oh! Haha no worries 🙂 In general, ground cumin and cooking with the whole seeds should have similar flavors. But you may have to use a different amount of the ground cumin to achieve the same flavor, and you wouldn’t want to fry it in the oil the way you would with the whole cumin seeds. I just like the texture and the flavor that comes out of frying the seeds in oil before you add in the vegetables, so if you have access to whole cumin, I’d definitely try using that first!

  12. Hi!
    I will try it! But why asparagus dish has 200cal? I thought that they are no calories! I had one dish with asparagus and an egg and a slide of light cheese. How many calories did I take?
    Thaaaanks…

    • Hi Anna Maria! One POUND of asparagus is a lot of asparagus – and it has 90 calories. 1 Tbsp oil has 100 calories. So all in all, that makes this entire recipe have 200 calories (but that’s at least 2-4 servings of the asparagus dish). I can’t say for sure how many calories were in the dish you ate without knowing all the ingredients. One egg has about 90 calories, depending on how much cheese you ate, that could be anywhere from 70-200 calories (or more, if you ate a lot of cheese), and depending on how the asparagus was cooked it could be anywhere from 50 calories and up (each Tbsp of oil used is 100 calories, so depending on the amount of oil used to cook or grill the asparagus, that will increase the calorie count). Hope that helps!

  13. These spices are great with any vegetable so I’m sure asparagus will be no exception. Plus these spices are great for being anti-inflammatory which is why I love Indian cuisine!

    • That is a great point Val! These spices are definitely anti-inflammatory – an added bonus for the dish! 🙂

  14. wow, yum! that looks so incredible! i love asparagus — so fresh and delicious! thanks for sharing!

  15. Love this recipe…..I have only just started to eat asparagus and the only two recipes I follow are boiling it or grilling it…Will try the sabji version.

    Mina

    • Thanks Mina! Can’t wait to hear what you think about this sabji! Another way you can use asparagus is in stir frys – it tastes delicious in them!

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