1 ½ tsp. cumin seeds
1 ½ tsp. fennel seeds
1 pound chicken tenders, cut into bite-size chunks
¾ tsp. salt, divided
2 tbsp. canola oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small fresh chile, seeded and minced
1 tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1 ½ bunches (about 1 ½ pounds) asparagus, woody ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ cup “lite” coconut milk
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Toast cumin and fennel seeds in a small dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant and beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Finely grind in a spice grinder (such as a clean coffee grinder) or with a mortar and pestle. Toss chicken with 1 ½ teaspoons of the spice mixture and ¼ teaspoon salt in a bowl. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove to a plate.
Reduce heat to medium and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, onion, garlic, chile and ginger; cook, stirring, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add asparagus, sprinkle with the remaining spice mixture and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in coconut milk and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and simmer for 2 minutes more. Return the chicken and any accumulated juice to the pan and cook until the chicken is just cooked through and the asparagus is tender-crisp, about 2 minutes more. Serve sprinkled with cilantro. Serves: 4.