Pepper Mushroom fry(Milagu Kaalaan varuval)


Blogging Marathon #31: Week 1/ Day 3
Theme: Meatless Dishes
Dish: Pepper Mushroom fry

I am so excited that I am doing the ‘Blogging Marathon’. It has introduced me to get in touch with so many bloggers and visit a lot of blogs. Truly it has been a learning experience. My kudos to Srivalli for taking the effort to put this together. This is no ordinary feat to organize bloggers across the world to participate in such an event.

My first week’s theme is ‘Meatless Dishes’, and it has been an interesting challenge. Do check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#31. The past few days I have used soya chunks and tofu to replace meat in dishes that are typically made with meat. Today I have used mushrooms in my signature ‘Pepper chicken fry’ recipe, which I just realized I have never gotten to post here on the blog. So, here is the recipe with mushrooms subbing in for the chicken.

I have heard that portobello mushrooms are a great substitute for meat in many dishes, and I have tested this out in this recipe. I saw this pack of beautiful baby bella mushrooms at Costco and used them in the recipe. You can use any type of mushroom you have on hand. I was very much surprised at how delicious this dish tasted, and my husband confirmed that it was on par with the pepper chicken recipe.


1/2 lb baby bella mushrooms(you can also use regular button mushrooms)
3 tsp black pepper
2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tomato, chopped
2 sprigs curry leaves
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
lime, to taste
salt, to taste

Clean the mushrooms with a kitchen towel and quarter them. Set aside.

Place a dry pan over medium low heat. Add the black pepper and roast until a nice aroma comes out and the peppers start to pop. Remove, set aside. Add the fennel seeds and roast until golden brown. Remove, add the cumin seeds and roast them until a nice aroma is released. Let the spices cool down a bit. You can then powder them coarsely in a mixie or a coffee grinder. If you have a mortar and pestle that’s the best to use. The key is to not over roast the spices, otherwise they turn bitter and to make sure you powder it coarsely and not too fine.


Heat the oil in the same pan. Add in the chopped onions. Saute until the onions are golden brown and translucent. Add the ginger garlic paste and cook until the raw smell disappears. Add the quartered mushrooms and saute until golden brown. This takes about 6-8 minutes. Do not add salt as it would bring out the water and you will not be able to get a good sear on the mushrooms. When the mushrooms are golden brown and fried well, add the turmeric powder and salt. This may give out some water. Continue cooking until the mushrooms are well cooked and the water is absorbed.

Add in the chopped tomatoes and saute for a couple of minutes. You want the tomatoes to be just cooked, but not mushy. The tomatoes add a nice dimension of flavor in this dish, and you should be able to see and taste the tomato pieces in the dish. Finally, add in the coarsely powdered spices and saute for another 5 minutes, until the flavors are absorbed by the mushrooms. Continue cooking until all the water rendered by the tomatoes are gone and the mixture is dry. Add in the curry leaves and the cilantro. Mix to combine. Squeeze the lime on the mushrooms just before serving for a perk of fresh flavor. This goes well with chapati as well as rice dishes.


Verdict: The mushrooms were delicious absorbing the peppery flavors and spiced exclusively with peppercorns, this is a good dish to make if you are trying to overcome a cold. The curry leaves add an incredible aroma and flavor to the dish, so don’t omit those. I served it with lemon rice and it seemed like a perfect combination.

Sending this to SIC – South Indian cooking, series by Anu.

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  1. Love the first picture Denny…looks so delicious and tempting. I need to try this recipe as I have a box of button mushrooms sitting in the fridge.

  2. That’s such a delicious curry Denny, will surely try with chicken and same masala..:)..thanks for the sweet mentions..I must say I have a wonderful group of friends..:)

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