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Mushroom black pepper fry (Puttagodugu kura)

Mushrooms are a new addition to the traditional Indian kitchen, and I am happy they are now popular. The Indian morels are common in the North where they grow wild, and they have been part of the diet for centuries, in curries, rice dishes and as stir-fries. However, mushrooms in other parts of India are new and welcome as I love them.

This is a simple dish from Andhra that is lightly spiced and elegant. The mushrooms are quickly sautèed with just a few spices allowing the mushroom flavours to dominate and not be drowned out in spices. This is the perfect side dish for any table.

This is a wonderful cookbook that is packed with traditional dishes. The book was written by Archana Pidathala as an ode to her grandmother's cooking. This book is so much more than a collection of recipes, it brings to my table a history of the cuisine and people. Wonderfully written and with beautiful photographs, this cookbook fills a gap in my bookshelf in a cuisine that I know very little about.

For more delicious, and spicy, dishes from this cookbook, click here.


1 tablespoon oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 onion, finely diced

1/2 tablespoon ginger paste

1/2 tablespoon garlic, about 3 cloves, finely minced

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon chilli powder, or to taste

2 packs mushrooms, about 1 lb, sliced longitudinally

Salt, to taste

1 teaspoon ground Tellicherry pepper

For the temper:

1 tablespoon ghee

10-12 curry leaves

Heat the oil in a wide wok on medium heat and add the cumin seeds. They will sizzle in 10 seconds and add the onions and sautè till the onions are cooked through and just turning a light golden, about 3-4 minutes.

Add the ginger and garlic and sautè for 30 seconds. Add the spice powders, turmeric and chilli, and give the mix a quick turn to mix all the ingredients. Add the mushrooms and salt and cook on medium heat. The mushrooms will give out liquids as they cook. Toss intermittently till all the liquids are completely evaporated, about 5 minutes.

Once dry add the pepper and toss well, frying the mushrooms till they have a light golden hue. Remove from the heat.

Heat the ghee in a small pot or "vatki". Add the curry leaves and sizzle for 10 seconds. Pour the ghee and curry leaves over the mushrooms. Serve immediately.

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