Most of the vegetarians I know, really dig into mushrooms! If you too consider yourself as a Mushroom fan, then this Mushroom Pepper Fry is THE recipe you must try out. This preparation is super easy and simple, and makes for a fantastic spicy mushroom and capsicum fry. Rest of the ingredients too are all the basic ones, which are usually available at any Indian home kitchen. Since I have cooked it in coconut oil and it also has curry leaves, I refer to it as a South Indian style preparation. The recipe is vegan and gluten free too.
My Tryst With Mushroom Pepper Fry
A few years back, while touring in some parts of ‘God’s own country,’ Kerala in South India, I came across so much of food that was vegetarian as well as vegan, and supremely delicious.
I mean people might know of this state for its rich non-vegetarian food. But trust me, the food here that is completely plant-based is also a 10/10. This Mushroom Pepper Fry was one such dish that I relished during our stay at the Taj Hotel there.
At the restaurant there, this dish was named as Mushroom Varuval. During their housekeeping hours, they used to leave us papers printed with a daily activity list of the hotel along with one recipe, special for that particular day. Initially, I missed on the recipes. But when I noted it, I started collecting those papers.
Back at home, I used to already make a similar dish with mushrooms and potatoes. The day I decided to try on to this Mushroom Pepper Fry, I started looking for the Taj recipe handout. Only to know that I had misplaced it while shifting our home. So, I tried recollecting the procedure and by doing so I was able to make it at home.
The taste of the Mushroom Pepper Fry came pretty close to the one we used to relish in the hotel during our stay in Kerala. Since then, I’ve been trying out and sharing a lot of regional recipes on my blog, from that part of the country. I still have a lot to do and put it out here for all my readers.
More On The Recipe
I am a fan of South Indian cuisine in general. The grand vegetarian feast called ‘sadya’ which is the main attraction of the Onam festival in Kerala, is also something I totally adore. The list and number of dishes in it, and all vegetarian with some even vegan, is quite impressive. Not to forget, really delish too.
This Kerala style Mushroom Pepper Fry has also become a personal favorite since the day I had tried it as the varuval. Hence, I often end up making it at home as everybody else as well loves it. You can’t really be fooled by its simplicity, because within, it packs a punch of flavors and textures that is surely going to blow your mind.
Some other recipes on the same line that I frequently prepare at home include this Goan style Mushroom Fry, the Indo-Chinese Chilli Mushroom and this one pot Indian style Mushroom Stir Fry. The fieriness of each of these differ and you can actually alter it according to what you prefer.
In this Mushroom Pepper Fry, black pepper is the main spice along with some more usual ones. The pungency of the black pepper is one of the highlights of this recipe. The aroma of fennel seeds is also quite prominent in the dish. To add some natural color and crunch, I add the capsicum. But you can skip it.
Chapatis, phulka, roti or bread – choose the way you want to have this Mushroom Pepper Fry with. It can also be savored as a side dish with sambar-rice or plain yellow dal-rice combinations.
How to make Mushroom Pepper Fry
1. Firstly, take 1 tablespoon black peppercorns and 1 teaspoon fennel seeds in a dry grinder or coffee grinder.
If you are not going to add capsicum in the recipe, then reduce the black pepper to ½ tablespoon and fennel seeds to ½ teaspoon.
2. Grind to a coarse powder. Keep aside. Also, slice 1 large onion, 250 grams white button mushrooms, 1 medium to large capsicum and 1 green chili.
Rinse the mushrooms a few times in water using a colander or strainer before you chop them.
Make Mushroom Pepper Fry
3. Heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil in a pan. Add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds and let them crackle.
4. Then, add 1 cup thinly sliced onions.
5. Mix the onions very well and sauté on low to medium heat.
6. For quick cooking of the onions, you can add a pinch of salt while sautéing. Sauté till they start to turn light golden.
7. Then, add ½ teaspoon ginger-garlic paste.
8. Stir and sauté till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.
9. Now, add the sliced mushrooms.
10. Mix very well and sauté on medium heat.
11. First, the mushrooms will release a lot of water.
12. Continue to sauté till all the water has evaporated.
13. Then, add 1 cup thinly sliced green capsicum.
14. Mix well.
15. Sauté the capsicum slices till they are half cooked. They should have some crunch in them.
16. Then, add sliced green chili and 2 teaspoons chopped curry leaves. Mix well.
17. Next, add the prepared spice powder.
18. Next, add ½ teaspoon coriander powder, ½ teaspoon cumin powder and a pinch of turmeric powder.
19. Mix all the spice powders very well.
20. Season with salt.
21. Mix again and switch off the heat. Check the taste and add more, salt if required.
22. Add 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves. Stir.
23. Serve Mushroom Pepper Fry hot with chapati or roti.
- You have to use fresh button mushrooms and rinse them really well before using in the recipe. You can keep the stems as they are edible.
- The dish is spicy and pungent because of the addition of black pepper in it. You can reduce the quantity of black pepper, in case you can’t handle too much heat in your food.
- You can skip adding the capsicum in this dish. If doing so, then also reduce the quantity of black pepper to ½ tablespoon and fennel to ½ teaspoon.
- In place of coconut oil, you can use peanut oil or sunflower oil for cooking the dish.
- Cook the mushrooms on low to medium heat till the moisture is evaporated. Ensure not to overcook the mushrooms. Doing so can turn them mushy.
- For cooking onions faster, add a pinch of salt while sautéing. You have to sauté onions till they are light golden and not golden brown or crisp.
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Mushroom Pepper Fry
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (can also use sunflower oil or peanut oil)
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- 92 grams onions or 1 large onion or 1 cup thinly sliced onions
- ½ teaspoon Ginger Garlic Paste
- 250 grams white button mushrooms – rinsed and chopped or sliced
- 115 grams capsicum or 1 medium to large bell pepper or 1 cup sliced bell peppers
- 1 green chili sliced or chopped
- 9 to 10 curry leaves (chopped) or 2 teaspoons chopped curry leaves, can also add 1 teaspoon curry leaves or 4 to 5 curry leaves (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns – crushed to a coarse powder in a small grinder
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds – crushed to a coarse powder in a small grinder
- ½ teaspoon Coriander Powder (ground coriander)
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder (ground cumin)
- 1 pinch turmeric powder (ground turmeric)
- salt as required
- 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
- Firstly take 1 tablespoon black pepper + 1 teaspoon fennel seeds in a dry grinder or a coffee grinder.
- Grind to a coarse powder. Set aside.
- Also slice and chop the onion, mushrooms, capsicum and chillies. Rinse the mushrooms before chopping them.
Making mushroom pepper fry
- Heat coconut oil in a frying pan. Keep heat to a low.
- Add mustard seeds and let them crackle.
- After the mustard seeds crackle, then add 1 cup thinly sliced onions.
- Mix the onions very well and sauté on a low to medium heat, till they start to turn light golden.
- Then add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for a few seconds till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.
- Now add the sliced mushrooms.
- Mix very well and sauté mushrooms on a medium heat.
- First the mushrooms will release a lot of water.
- Continue to saute till all the water has evaporated and the mushrooms are almost cooked.
- Then add 1 cup sliced bell peppers and mix well.
- Sauté the capsicum slices till they are half-cooked. They should have some crunch in them.
- Then add sliced or chopped green chillies and chopped curry leaves. Mix well.
- Now add the coarsely powdered black pepper and fennel seeds together with coriander powder, cumin powder and a pinch of turmeric powder.
- Mix all the spices very well with the mushroom and capsicum mixture.
- Season with salt.
- Mix again and then switch off the heat. Check the taste of mushroom pepper fry. Add more salt if required.
- Add 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves. Stir to mix.
- Serve mushroom pepper fry hot with chapati or roti.
- The dish is spicy and pungent due to the addition of black pepper. If you want, you can reduce the black peppers to ½ tablespoon. Also fennel seeds can be reduced to ½ teaspoon.
- Capsicum (green bell pepper) can be skipped. If skipping capsicum in the recipe, then reduce the black pepper to ½ tablespoon and fennel to ½ teaspoon.
- Instead of coconut oil, you can opt to use sunflower oil or any neutral flavored oil.
Nutrition Info (Approximate values)
This Mushroom Pepper Fry recipe post from the archives, first published in August 2016 has been updated and republished on October 2022.