Thursday, August 28, 2014

KAALAN - A Coimbatore Street Food with Mushroom

This is a very famous road side snack in Coimbatore which can be made with mushrooms or Cauliflower. I did my college from Coimbatore(2001 - 2008) and this was my  favorite snack at that time.  This can be served as a side dish with chappathi / roti. Don't confuse this dish with Authentic Kerala Sadhya Dish - Kalan which is a yogurt based curry.
Coimbatore Street Food - Kaalan Chat
After starting my blog in 2009, i tried to make Kaalan once. I followed the same 3 steps which that old street vendor in Coimbatore used to do. 1. Batter fry the mushrooms, 2. add some aromatic stock and 3. a final touch with onion and some spices. I followed like that  But still something was missing. Then i read online that nutmeg is the main ingredient in Kaalan which i never used. The lady who uploaded this tip (Ramya) got this information from a roadside Vendor who is making Kaalan for years. Hooray!!!! i got the secret ingredient, tried again with the new ingredient and Viola!! My favorite Kalan was ready in 20min. :). I dedicate this recipe to my biggest Kaaln Lover Nish (my sister) and my close friends Milsha, Sisira and Sunendra. Miss you gals :(

How to make Coimbatore street food Kalan at home
cooking time : 20min, Preparation time : 15min Serves : 3adults
Step 1 - Prepare the Stock :

2cups water or 16oz vegetable stock
Oil : 1tsp
Onion : 1/2
Dried  red chillies : 2
Turmeric Powder : 1/4tsp
Bay Leaf : 1
Ginger : 1/4inch piece
Garlic : 2cloves
Whole spices ( Coriander Seeds : 1/2tbsp, 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder , small piece of mace, A small stick of cinnamon, 1 cardamom, 1 cloves, 1/4tsp black pepper corns, 1/4tsp Cumin, 1/4tsp Fennel ) or you can add 1/2tsp Garam Masala plus nutmeg powder (Secret ingredient)

Directions :  Add oil and add red chilies, whole spices, bay leaf and saute for one minute. Now add onion, ginger, garlic and saute till translucent. Add turmeric powder along with 4 cups of water / vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Now allow it to cool and drain. This is the base for your Kaalan. 

Step 2 - Prepare the Batter fried Mushrooms :

Button Mushroom : 16oz box / 570g, finely chopped
All Purpose Flour (Maida) : 1/2Cup
Cornflour : 1/4cup
Chilly powder : 1tsp 
Turmeric powder : 1/4tsp
Garam Masala : 1/2tsp
Grated ginger / Crushed Ginger : 1/2inch piece
Grated Garlic / Crushed Garlic : 3cloves
Red Food color
Egg : 1(optional)
Lemon juice / Vinegar : 1tsp
Oil : 2tbsp *

Directions : Mix all ingredients except oil and mushrooms in a wide bowl. Add 1tbsp water(or more if you are not using egg) and make a batter to fry the mushrooms. Now add the mushrooms and combine well. Heat oil in a non stick pan and deep fry them.(*I used 2tbsp oil and shallow fried the mushrooms by spreading in one layer). Drain the excess oil using paper towel.

step 3 - Prepare the final thick Kalan :

approximately 2 cups of drained  stock we prepared from step 1
Onion : 1, finely chopped
Green Chillies : 2 finely chopped
Red chilly powder : 1tsp
Garam Masala  / Eastern meat masala : 1tsp
Coriander leaves : 1/4cup, finely chopped

Directions : 
1. Heat the same vessel from step 2 and add the fried mushrooms. Now add 1cup drained stock we prepared in step 1 and mix well with the mushrooms. Using the spatula stir continuously ad scramble the fried mushrooms. You should work quickly to separate the mushrooms and stir fry well. When the water is absorbed add the remaining 1cup stock and repeat the same process and your final result will be bite sized fried mushrooms with a soggy texture. Make sure your Kaalan is not dry. So Before the water evaporates, add remaining ingredients listed under Step 3 - and stir fry for one minute. Serve hot with some extra onions and coriander leaves on top.


  1. How wonderful!!! Loved your recipe and yes, quite new to me.... When I saw the pic on fb, I felt it's something made with chicken n still was tempted to read the recipe :P But now I think, I'm going to make it soon :D Thanks a ton for introducing a new dish :)

  2. thanks for the quick reply.. Loved reading your comment :)

  3. Kaalan looks so delicious and mouthwatering. Excellent preparation.

  4. Tried it out. Turned out great. thank you.

  5. Thanks for the recipe.. Made it yesterday.. turned out really gud.. Everyone in our family really loved it.. Tasted similar to street food ..

  6. Thanks for the recipe.. Made it yesterday.. turned out really gud.. Everyone in our family really loved it.. Tasted similar to street food ..

  7. Thank you for sharing this recipe Lena. Just loved it, being a perfectionist in cooking I would'nt approve anything less than the original. I was transported to comibatore when I ate it :)

  8. Thank You so Much "Unknown" friend. The comments like these are the true inspiration for my blog. I really appreciate it from the bottom of my heart :)

  9. Thanks for the recipe ,, i searcged a lot to get one.

  10. Will it work without mushrooms or cauliflower and just plain maida? Shops in CBE often don't add mushrooms or cauliflower.

  11. Thanks for providing this recipe. With some changes, we tried it and it came out to be simply awesome.
    - Added finely chopped cabbage along with mushroom
    - No food colours, instead added Kashmiri mirch
    - In the sauce, we added mashed potatoes instead of vegetable stock

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