Roadside kalan/Kalan chilli

Kalan chilli featured image

Roadside Kalan is a very popular street food at my place Coimbatore in South India. It is a delicious and flavourful dish and can be easily replicated at home with minimal effort.

Kalan means mushroom in Tamil. But this recipe contains an equal or more quantity of cabbage too, though it is called Kalan chilli.

Now the addition of cabbage can be coz of the cost factor, as button mushrooms are pricey compared to the cabbage. Or maybe to give firmness to the mushrooms when fried. Whatever, this recipe works best with a combination of mushrooms and cabbage.

The recipe as such is very simple. Make pakoras or fritters with the mushroom and cabbage, and saute them in a spicy tangy sauce seasoned with spices.

mushroom chilli

This was a regular in our house with all the kids in the house drooling over it 🙂 . I wasn’t okay with it as lots of food color was added for visual appeal. And the quality of oil used was also a matter of concern.

But I must admit it was so tempting 😀  . So I have been wanting to make a homemade version of this for a long time. Finally, succeeded in making it to my heart’s content.

The best part was both hubby and kiddo who are not great fans of mushrooms too enjoyed it. Do give this a try, and am sure you will enjoy it as much as we did.

And if it worked for you do not forget to share the recipe with your near and dear ones 🙂  .

Over to the recipe…

Roadside kalan/Kalan chilli
A very popular Coimbatore street food made with mushrooms and spices.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Snack, Street food
Cuisine: South Indian, Tamil
Keyword: mushroom chilli, Rottu kadai kalan masala
Servings: 2 people
Author: Hema Magesh

For frying

  • 1 cup mushrooms (finely chopped) 150g
  • 1 cup cabbage(finely chopped)100g
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp chilly powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • a pinch of turmeric powder
  • a few curry leaves(chopped)
  • ¼ cup All purpose flour/Maida
  • 1 tbsp rice powder
  • 1 tbsp corn flour
  • salt as needed
  • oil as needed

For the masala

  • 1 big onion
  • 1 green chilly
  • 1 piece ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium-sized tomato
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Apple cider vinegar/any vinegar
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp chilly powder
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp chaat masala
  • a pinch of turmeric
  • salt as needed

For corn flour sludge

  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • ½ cup water

For garnish

  • finely chopped onions
  • finely chopped coriander leaves
  • Wash the mushrooms and wipe them dry. Chop the mushrooms, the cabbage and the curry leaves finely.
    Kalan chilly prep step 1
  • In a vessel take the chopped mushrooms, cabbage, curry leaves and all the spice powders as mentioned under 'for frying'. Mix it all together.
  • Next, add the rice, flour, cornflour and the plain flour and coat the mushroom mix completely.
  • Take small pieces of this mix and deep fry in oil. Drain on to a paper towel and keep it aside.
  • Chop the onion, chilly, garlic and ginger. Grind the tomato without adding water and strain.
    Kalan chilly prep step 5
  • In a tbsp of oil saute the chopped ingredients till the onions become translucent. Add the tomato juice, ketchup, vinegar and all the powders and saute for a few minutes.
    Kalan chilly prep step 6
  • When the mixture reduces and dries up a bit add the cornflour slurry and salt as needed. Let it come to a boil and thicken.
    Kalan chilly prep step 7
  • Check and adjust spices as needed and add the fried mushrooms. Saute to coat the mushroom with the masala. Break the fried mushrooms into smaller pieces as you saute. Turn off flame, when it completely dries up.
  • Garnish with chopped onion and coriander leaves and serve.

Hema’s P.S

  • The addition of all spices is up to personal preference. 
  • I got 1/3rd  cup of tomato juice after grinding.
  • The addition of Kashmiri red chilli powder will give a nice red color to the preparation.
  • The mushrooms will not become crispy and it will be a soft pakoda after frying. So remove them as soon as they are done and do not wait for them to become crispy.
  • The fried mushroom pakoras are normally made into smaller pieces before adding to the sauce. But I prefer to break them as I saute. You can do it anyway.

Hema Magesh signature




You may also like

Gobi manchurian thumbnailEnnaikathirikai thumbnail







Back to Street foods main page



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.