The pungency of black pepper and the aroma of fennel seeds give this Dry Mushroom Pepper Fry a deep intense flavor. This South Indian-style stir-fry is a quick, no-fuss recipe that can be made in 20 minutes with any kind of mushroom. It's vegan and keto diet friendly. If you are looking for a side dish to serve with bread or a spicy snack, then give this sauteed garlic mushroom recipe a try!
What is mushroom fry
Mushroom Fry is a spicy side dish for chapati or any other Indian bread, made by sauteeing edible mushrooms (sliced or whole) in a unique homemade spice blend consisting of black pepper and fennel seeds. The earthy flavor of umami-packed mushrooms and spices like black pepper and fennel seeds uplift this South Indian-style stir-fry. It does have a slightly hot and fiery flavor thanks to ingredients like peppercorns and jalapeno, but this simple and quick Indian-style mushroom fry recipe is a highly flavorful dish and perfect for mushroom lovers.
This mushroom masala dry recipe is vegan with a meat-like texture, gluten-free, and keto-friendly. Plus you can prepare this one-pot dry mushroom masala in just 20 minutes. In the South of India, mushrooms are called Kalan so this dish is also called Kalan Poriyal, Mushroom Thoran, Mushroom Thoran, or Kalan Varuval. In restaurants, it's called Mushroom Chilli Fry. Since I love mushrooms and spicy food, this restaurant-style stir-fried pepper mushrooms definitely caters to my palate!
This South Indian dry mushroom masala (Chettinad style) is an extremely delicious side dish, that will perk up any meal! I like to make it for a speedy weekday dinner. The texture is dry (sookhi sabzi) and the taste is comforting and satisfying. This delicious stir-fry with mushrooms pairs well with chapati (Indian bread) or, rice. Here are some Indian recipes with mushrooms that you will love. If you want gravy, check out Mushroom Masala, and if you like fried crispy mushrooms then check out the Mushroom Kalan recipe.
Health benefits of mushrooms
Protein-packed mushrooms, though classified as vegetables in the food world, are not technically plants. They belong to the fungi kingdom and although they are not vegetables, mushrooms provide several important nutrients and antioxidants. White mushrooms are low in calories and sugar. They are also high in protein and vitamins and have an earthy flavor and meaty texture. Interestingly, there are some who still consider it as non-vegetarian and hence do not consume it.
In North India, edible mushrooms are popularly called Kumbh, and in South India (Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Andhra) its called Kalan and Puttagodugu. I also love how easy and fuss-free these pan-fried garlic butter mushrooms are to cook with. Mushrooms are my weakness and I like to add them to any dish I can. My grocery trips are incomplete if I don't bring back mushrooms. I add them to curries, rice, pasta, and soups. I even add them to stuffings or fillings when making anything savory. They are very versatile!
This Kerala-style Mushroom Capsicum curry has become our new go-to mushroom recipe because of its fresh flavors and nutritional value. The bold tantalizing flavor of earthy mushrooms, along with the spices hit the right spot every time! This South Indian-style mushroom fry recipe is best for weekday dinners, especially on busy days. I love that it comes together with minimal effort. This dish is also a great recipe for those looking for meat alternatives. So yes, the Indian mushroom pepper fry is a delicious and healthy dish that's perfect for vegans, vegetarians, and non-vegetarians.
Why make this
- A deliciously spicy umami-packed stir fry recipe
- Great way to incorporate healthy mushrooms into your diet
- This mushroom stir-fry has a South Indian flavor because of some ingredients used
- Vegan, keto-friendly, gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free mushroom recipe
- Made with essential pantry ingredients
- Can be made in 20 minutes
- Very simple, quick, and easy mushroom fry recipe
- One-Pot meal
Ingredients needed 🧾
Mushrooms - Feel free to use any mushroom variety for this recipe. I have used white button mushrooms. Wash them well under running water. Ensure you remove any excess soil from them using your fingers. Pat them dry, and either slice them in halves or use them whole. Discard the hard ends of the base stalk.
Fennel seeds have a special aroma and flavor that enhances the taste of these sauteed garlic mushrooms well. You can also use fennel seed powder instead.
Freshly crushed Black Peppercorns give this Indian mushroom capsicum fry recipe a nice pungent flavor. You can also use black pepper powder instead but that invariably loses its freshness and hint of spice. There are also some added benefits of adding peppercorns. They have anti-inflammatory properties and also stimulate digestion and relieve cold and cough.
Some recipes with strong black pepper flavors are Turmeric Milk, Cumin Pepper Rasam, and, Ven Pongal.
Onions and Bell Pepper/capsicum - The onions bring a certain sweetness to the dish that helps to balance the flavors. Capsicum pairs well with mushrooms and gives a nice crunch to the recipe. You can also make this mushroom fry without onions and garlic.
Black Mustard seeds and Curry leaves (fresh, frozen, or dry) give the pan-fried garlic mushrooms a unique earthy curry flavor and aroma. The use of black peppercorns, and curry leaves, give this vegetarian sauteed mushroom recipe a South Indian flavor.
I also added Turmeric Powder and Coriander-Cumin Powder (not in pic) to this stir-fry to make it more vibrant and lips-smacking. Instead of powder, you can also use whole cumin seeds and coriander seeds in this Indian mushroom pepper fry recipe. Crush them along with the fennel seeds and black peppercorns.
Ginger, garlic, and jalapeno or green chillies are the basic aromatics used in this Asian pan-fried mushroom recipe. Fry the mushrooms in vegan butter or vegan ghee for the best flavor.
How to make it 🔪
Besides chopping the veggies, and prepping the mushrooms, also coarsely crush fennel seeds and peppercorns together in a mortar pestle or a coffee grinder. Do not add water when grinding. Keep it aside for now. Chef Tip - You can also lightly toast them in a pan before crushing them.
- Melt vegan butter in a wide pan, and temper mustard seeds. Once they crackle, add torn curry leaves, chopped onions, minced jalapeno, ginger, and garlic. Saute till the onions turn translucent.
- Then add the chopped and rinsed mushrooms. Keep sauteing till all the water from the mushrooms evaporates completely. There is no need to stir them constantly. It could take about 5-6 minutes on medium to high flame. The mushrooms will begin to brown and shrink.
- Next, add the sliced bell peppers and salt. Continue to saute the bell peppers till they are nearly done.
- Time to add the spices. Add the crushed fennel seeds and peppercorns to the pan along with turmeric powder and coriander-cumin powder. Give it all a good mix and cook for another minute before turning off the flame. Drizzle some vegan ghee on top as a final touch. You can also add some lemon juice on top for a tangy flavor.
Serving suggestions 🍽
Garnish dry mushroom pepper fry masala with some chopped cilantro or even spring onions, and serve it warm with chapati or any Indian flatbread like roti, naan, kulcha, paratha, puri, bhakhri, Malabar Parottas, etc. This juicy and tender mushroom stir-fry also pairs well with steamed rice along with dal, sambhar, rasam, cooked quinoa, or cauliflower rice (if following a keto diet). You can make it for weeknights, pack it in a lunchbox, or make it on days when you are not in the mood to cook anything elaborate. Spicy Mushroom fry or Kalan poriyal can also be served as an appetizer or as a snack.
Mushroom pepper fry masala is a delicious and healthy dish that can be easily prepared at home. With its rich flavor and nutritional benefits, this recipe is perfect for those looking to switch up their usual meal routines. Whether you are a vegetarian or simply want to incorporate more vegetables into your diet, this Indian mushroom pepper fry recipe is a great choice. So why not give it a try? Your taste buds (and body) will thank you!
There are many other creative ways of using this pepper mushroom stir-fry. You can also serve it as a mushroom sandwich by adding it in between bread slices or on top of toasted bread to serve as a Bruschetta. Stuff this mushroom pepper fry curry in savory crepes, or dosa, or use it as a topping for savory pancakes or pizzas. Add this spicy mushroom fry or Kalan poriyal to your Buddha Bowl or make quesadillas or burgers with it. I have also mixed it with rice, noodles, and pasta and it tasted wonderful. It's full of deliciousness, so get creative!
If you find the mushroom masala dry and too spicy, follow it up with some cool Rose Lemonade, Cherry Lemon Ice Tea, Vegan buttermilk, or Masala Chaas Popsicles. You can also enjoy a bowl of Vegan Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream post this meal.
Top recipe tips 💭
You can also use pearl onions instead of regular onions here. If you don't like the flavor of onion, you can also make this mushroom stir fry without onions. Substitute mustard seeds with mustard powder if needed. Skip adding curry leaves if not available to you. While fennel seeds are key to this recipe, substitute them with cumin seeds if unavailable. The flavors will vary though. If you like crispy mushrooms, you can also deep-fry them.
Drizzle a teaspoon of honey if the dish turns out to be a bit spicy. Tone down the spices if making it for children. It is important to saute mushrooms until all the water evaporates. Adjust the ingredients based on your spice tolerance level. If you like some crunch, add crushed peanuts, toasted sunflower seeds, or even toasted pine nuts as garnish. For more flavor, you can also add diced tofu or paneer, broccoli, carrots, green peas, or some greens along with bell peppers.
Do not add salt at the beginning. Seasoning with salt at the end of the cooking process works better in stir-fries. Salt encourages veggies to break down and release water, and that is not the goal of stir-fries. Substitute mushrooms with baby potatoes to make Potato Fry. It tastes really good. TVP or soya granules/chunks, meatless crumbles, chickpeas or any other beans, tofu/paneer, baby corn, cauliflower, and broccoli florets can also be added to this stir-fry.
Recipe FAQs 📖
When stir-frying, it's important to work with the right kind of mushrooms - White button mushrooms, baby Bella mushrooms (cremini), Portobello mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, and oyster mushrooms. Using any of these will make your stir fry delicious! You can also mix them up. You may have to adjust the cooking time to suit the variety of mushrooms you are using. Also, use them as a whole or slice them in half. Do not chop them finely because they will shrink when cooked.
Canned mushrooms can also be used. If doing so, make sure to drain the water from them and rinse them under running water, then pat them dry and put them in the pan to stir fry.
When cooking with mushrooms, always wash them really well (even if the packet says prewashed) and then pat them dry. You can also wipe them with a damp kitchen towel instead of rinsing them. Cooking damp mushrooms causes them to steam as the water evaporates. That will result in a rubbery, chewy-in-the-bad-way texture. You can either keep the mushrooms whole or slice them for stir-frying.
Mushrooms are full of water so all you have to do is allow them to cook out in an environment that will care for them as the water departs. That's why cooking mushrooms in butter is key. They should always be cooked uncovered in a wide pan, on high heat so that they caramelize and retain their juiciness. Do not stir them constantly. Once the water evaporates, they will begin to brown in the butter, eventually developing a tasty flavor and color.
If you want to use canned mushrooms to make this curry, here's how you can fry them. It's best that you wash the mushrooms to remove excess salt and then pat it dry. Air dry them for an hour and then stir fry them for a very short time.
You can prepare this keto mushroom poriyal and store it in the fridge for 4-5 days. Pack it in an airtight container and store it. Cooked mushrooms also freeze well. You can freeze this Mushroom dry fry for 1-2 months. Thaw it overnight in the fridge, reheat, and serve.
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Indian Mushroom Pepper Fry | Mushroom Stir-Fry
- 1 teaspoon vegan butter or oil or vegan ghee
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 32 oz white mushrooms
- 1 red bell pepper sliced
- 5-6 curry leaves
- 1 Jalapeno minced
- ½ tablespoon peppercorns
- ½ tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander-cumin powder
- 2-3 tablespoon Cilantro
- Besides chopping the veggies, also coarsely crush fennel seeds and peppercorns together in a mortar pestle. Keep it aside for now.
- Melt butter in a pan, temper mustard seeds. Once they crackle, add torn curry leaves, chopped onions, minced jalapeno, ginger, and garlic. Saute till the onions turn translucent.
- Then add the chopped mushrooms. Keep sauteing till the water from mushrooms evaporates completely.
- Next, add the sliced bell peppers and salt. Continue to saute the bell peppers till they are nearly done.
- Time to add the spices. Add the crushed fennel seeds and peppercorns to the pan along with turmeric powder and coriander-cumin powder. Give it all a good mix and cook for another minute before turning off the flame.
- Garnish mushroom masala with some chopped cilantro and serve it warm with any Indian flatbread.
Beth Pierce says
I made this for dinner tonight and my husband loved it! I love it too! Thank you! I will be making this again.
Love mushrooms, and this is something different from the usual recipes. I am looking forward to trying this soon!
Ana F. says
What a great recipe! Everything turned out delicious! I didn't have fennel but I'll add some next time. Thank you!
Gail Montero says
I love the complexity of flavors you have here. Such a tasty and vibrant dish!
Nart at Cooking with Nart says
Woman, this dish looks really good! Before looking at the ingredient list, I could tell you put many spices into this dish! I would love to have it rice - will try this for sure!
Krissy Allori says
Oh my goodness, I love everything about this recipe. I love mushrooms and spicey food. The seasonings in this just sound so good. I'll be trying this for sure.
How delicious! Mushrooms with pepper is one of the greatest combos ever! Thanks for sharing such a wonderfully simple and delicious recipe.
We've been looking for more ways to eat vegetarian and this looks like perfection!
Jessica Formicola says
I love that this is keto and vegan! Can't wait to try it. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!
Thank you so much
This is one of the most flavorful mushroom dish I've ever tried. There are plenty of spices here, but they are what make this dish so awesome.
glad you liked it. Thank you.
Priya, made this today... really tasty thanks much... a very nice way of cooking mushrooms than usual tomatos onion way
Oh great, glad you liked it! 🙂 I loved this dish too.