Mushroom Kalan Masala is a vegetarian Stir Fry recipe. It's a popular street food snack in Coimbatore (city in South India) made with mushrooms and spices.
I am very excited about this recipe. Its something I have never tasted before but have heard a lot of praises about it from my aunts who live in Coimbatore. It's a nice and pleasant city down South of India. My maternal side family has lived there for many years now and we as kids have been there during every Summer vacation. Mom would take us few days ahead to spend more time with her mom and sisters every year and dad would follow later depending upon his office leaves. We enjoyed going to Coimbatore every year as we got to meet our cousins and spend time with our grandparents. My grandpa would narrate moral stories to us every night and my grandma would make the most delicious snacks for us. With so much pampering, we felt like king and queen there.
Every Summer, there would be a Fun Fair near my cousin's house and we all as a family would go there on one special day. That is one of my favorite memory of our trip. My dad would buy ice cream for all the kids and we would sit on all the rides with him while my mom waited patiently watching us. I have taken on him when it comes to theme park rides. I am a first row person and enjoy the thrills and shrill. While my mom was scared of rides and would throw a tantrum if we even tried to get her on a Ferris Wheel! 🙂 After the fair, we all would go to a restaurant and eat our hearts full. After coming home, we would all gather in a room and chit-chat for hours till we kids fell asleep. Seriously childhood memories are the best and they can choke you up even today.
Things have changed now, there are just two aunts of mine living there now and it has been some years since we visited Coimbatore. I talk to both of them frequently. While they don't really understand blogging and all that, they just know that I am always on the lookout for new and interesting recipes because I keep asking them. Few day ago, my aunt told me about this Mushroom Kalan Masala. The name sounded interesting and I wanted to know more. She then told me that this dish is a very popular street snack there and is a dish which both my aunts enjoy. While they normally don't eat mushrooms, this dish is an exception because its very delicious. She added that they specifically asked the vendor for the recipe in order to tell me later. How sweet is that!
That was all the more reason for me to make this dish. Indeed the recipe is fairly simple, its flavors are different because of the choice of spices and techniques used. First step is to prepare the marinate for mushrooms. In a mixing bowl, add maida/all-purpose flour, rice flour, turmeric powder, chilly powder, ginger garlic paste, dhania jeera powder and salt. Add water to make a thick batter consistency. Add mushrooms to it and give it a good mix so that the batter coats the mushrooms. Let it marinate for 15-20 minutes. Heat oil in a frying pan and deep fry them marinated mushrooms till they turn golden and crisp. Strain the excess oil in paper towels.
Now to prepare the base of the curry. Grind garlic, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cinnamon stick, fennel seeds, ginger, black pepper, cloves and anistar to a coarse paste by adding little water. Now heat oil in a pan, fry green chillies and onions till the onions turn translucent. Then add the ground paste and saute for 2-3 minutes or till the masala is cooked. Lastly add the fried mushrooms, salt and mix well. Cook for another 5 minutes in low flame.
Now as per my aunt, this dish is served as a snack with no sides. People just enjoy this dish as is. However I served it with warm water rolls/pav. The freshly added onions give this dish a crunch and the fried mushrooms taste delicious. Oddly, this dish reminds me of Chickpea Stir Fry/Tawa Chole which is another popular street food but from Delhi. Mushroom Kalan Masala has not originated from South, but I think its the result of the adapted cosmopolitan lifestyle which has created this beautiful dish. The flavors are very North Indian. But whatever the case may be, all I know is that I have got a new recipe in this bargain and it sure is to stay in my menu.
Please fry the mushroom slices in very small batches. They should not stick to one another. After frying the mushrooms, if you feel its low on salt, sprinkle some chaat masala and toss to coat the mushrooms with it. Fry on medium flame till the mushrooms turn golden and crisp.
You can immediately use the same leftover hot oil that you used for frying the mushrooms to prepare the kalan.
Add the leftover marinade along with the ground paste to the pan instead of throwing it away.
Some favorite mushroom recipes
- Mushroom Black Pepper Fry
- Edamame Mushroom Pasta Salad
- Chilly Garlic Noodles
- Japanese Fried Rice
- Mushroom Masala
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Mushroom Kalan Masala
For the marinade
To make the ground paste
To make the marinade
- In a mixing bowl, add chickpea flour, rice flour, turmeric powder, chilly powder, ginger powder, onion powder, garlic powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, and salt.
- Add water to make a thick batter consistency.
- Add mushrooms to the bowl.
- Give it a good mix so that the batter coats the mushrooms. Let it marinate for 15-20 minutes.
- Heat oil in a frying pan and deep fry them marinated mushrooms in small batches till they turn golden and crisp. Strain the excess oil in paper towels.
To prepare the paste
- Grind garlic, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cinnamon stick, fennel seeds, ginger, black pepper, cloves and star anise to a coarse paste by adding water.
To prepare the Kalan
- Heat oil in a pan, fry green chillies and onions till the onions turn translucent. Reserve some raw onions for garnish.
- Then add the ground paste and saute for 5 minutes or till the masala is cooked. Keep a cup of water next to you and add splashes of water to the pan if the masala starts to stick to the bottom.
- Lastly add the fried mushrooms, salt and mix well. Cook for another 4 minutes in low flame.
- Garnish with lemon juice, onions and cilantro.