Appetisers/sides/ Indian

Mushroom 65

mushroom 65

This Mushroom 65 is a crispy, spicy dish with its origins in South India. It’s a mouth-watering appetiser best served with a squeeze of lemon.

I live for all the crispy and spicy dishes. And if you’ve been here for a while you may have noticed.

If you’re new here, then welcome to the crispy, spicy adventure that I’ve somehow landed myself on.

One of the reasons behind this blog was to show and teach people how to make their favourite dishes at home. Things that they would normally order in restaurants or find within the realm of street food.

Whilst also showing modern vegetarian takes on classics as well as a whole bunch of new and fun recipes. Now this recipe is very much a classic.

But if you’re a fan of crispy food with incredible flavour, then you’re in for a lip smacking adventure with this Mushroom 65.

Mushroom 65

Mushroom 65 has a rather inconspicuous name. The 65 gives nothing away whilst also leaving you in utter suspense with curiosity.

It’s essentially a crispy vegetarian appetizer that involves mushrooms being coated in a fiery batter full of spices. They’re then fried which makes them take on this deep orange/red colour.

They become so crispy. It’s wild how good these are but also how addictive they are.

It is a dish that is fairly spicy so not one for the faint hearted. Though you can totally reduce the heat in this recipe if you absolutely need to.

Now if you’re a mushroom fan, like myself. And also a spice fan, also like myself. Then I guarantee this is going to be a dish you need to try.

mushroom 65

The origins of 65

It is said that all the 65 dishes all originated from one place in Chennai, South India. And that place is the Buhari Hotel.

It started off as a chicken 65 dish in 1965 which was invented by A.M Buhari. But has since expanded into numerous variations including vegetarian alternatives.

The 65 is said to just be a reference to the fact it originated in 1965. Though a plethora of hypotheses exist regarding the legendary name.

Some say there were 65 different ingredients used in the original recipe. Or that the chicken in the original chicken 65 was marinated for 65 days. Who knows?

But I think the 1965 reason does in fact sound the most plausible. There is absolutely no way this Mushroom 65 contains 65 different ingredients, don’t worry, I wouldn’t do that to you.

Can I 65 anything?

In all honesty, yes you can.

Anything that can be battered and fried can be 65’d. For example plenty of other vegetables would work, such as cauliflower, broccoli, or baby corn just to name a few.

Or you could even do this with paneer, tofu, or seitan. They’d all work beautifully, though I’d definitely recommend marinating these for longer compared to the vegetable choices.

mushroom 65

How to serve Mushroom 65

Whenever I’ve had Mushroom 65, or any 65 for that matter, the way that they have been served have always been fairly similar.

Usually the crispy mushrooms are tossed in a tempering of green chillies and curry leaves. This is for a little extra heat and an abundance of flavour from the curry leaves.

The tempering also provides extra colour, which I think the Mushroom 65 really needs. It’s at this stage where you can adjust the heat to your preference. But I’ll cover this in the Q+A at the end.

The Mushroom 65 is also served with a wedge of lemon or lime and some onions. I’ve had this dish served with raw onions and with pickled onions in the past and I definitely prefer the pickled variety.

The additional acidity cuts through the heat perfectly.

I’ve also been served paneer 65 with a dipping sauce and a chutney in the past. If you prefer this I’d recommend a coriander chutney over a dipping sauce as it adds more freshness and another dimension of flavour.

But a dipping sauce or chutney is not essential and I personally don’t serve one with this dish. Just some pickled onions.

What you’ll need

The full recipe can be found at the end of the blogpost

You’ll require:

  • Mushrooms of course – I’d recommend oyster mushrooms or slices of king oyster mushrooms. You could also use chestnut/baby bella/cremini mushrooms too
  • Gram flour – also known as chickpea flour
  • Cornflour – This is sold as cornflour for UK readers and corn starch for US readers
  • Kashmiri chilli powder – this is a fairly mild chilli powder but it provides a great amount of colour
  • Garam masala – this is a spice mix consisting of roasted whole spices and should be available in the Indian aisle in any supermarkets. You could also make your own too, there are a plethora of recipes online. I make my own and will hopefully get that up very soon!
  • Coriander powder
  • Cumin powder
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Green chillies
  • Curry leaves
  • Yogurt – natural/Greek/or plant based yogurts will all work
  • Neutral oil for frying – vegetable/sunflower/peanut/rapeseed for example

How to make Mushroom 65

Let’s start with the batter

1) Mix together the yogurt with the ground spices (chilli powder, turmeric, cumin and coriander powder, garam masala, and black pepper)

2) Then add grated garlic and ginger

3+4) Finely slice some fresh curry leaves and add those in too

5) Add in chickpea flour and cornflour (this is corn starch for US readers)

6) Whisk until smooth – it will be a thick batter. If you find it too thick, add half a tbsp of water and whisk once again. If it is too runny, add more cornflour and chickpea flour.

Yogurts will naturally vary in consistency and hence this may cause differences in batter consistency

Now for frying

1+2) Use any mushroom of choice, I like oyster mushrooms. Split them into pieces, if they’re small you can leave them bunched

3) Mix the mushrooms into the batter by hand. Do this gently to avoid breaking the mushrooms

4) Deep fry until crispy all over – this will only take a couple of minutes

fried mushroom 65

5) Drain with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel lined rack to absorb any excess oil

And for the final pan fry

1) Sauté garlic, green chillies, and curry leaves for around 1 minute

2) Add in the battered mushrooms and toss to coat

mushroom 65

3) Plate up and serve with sliced onions and a lemon wedge

Frequently asked questions

Can these Mushroom 65 be made vegan

Yes, very easily too. Substitute the yogurt for a plant based alternative like soy or coconut yogurt.

Can the mushrooms been air fried?

Yes, though they don’t come out as crispy as when deep fried. They also don’t pick up that traditional red colour as much in the air fryer. But they do still taste great.

Air fry at 190’C for around 7-10 minutes (or until crispy).

Can the mushrooms be left in the batter to marinate in advance?

I don’t recommend this as the mushrooms release water when left in the batter. This is due to the salt drawing out moisture.

This can loosen the batter, and we want the batter to be thick for this recipe.

If you enjoyed this recipe

Please do let me know! Leave a review and a rating below, I’d love to know how you got on.

You can also tag me on Instagram at @dish_by_rish. Or follow me on FacebookPinterestYoutube, and TikTok to keep up with all my cooking and baking creations.

Until then, happy cooking!

mushroom 65

Mushroom 65

Yield: Serves 2-3
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This Mushroom 65 is a crispy, spicy dish with its origins in South India. It's a mouth-watering appetiser best served with a squeeze of lemon


Batter Ingredients:

  • 120g yogurt
  • 2tsp Kashmiri chilli powder, or paprika
  • 1/4tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2tsp ground coriander powder
  • 1/2tsp ground cumin powder
  • 1tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1tsp salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1" piece of ginger, grated
  • 8 curry leaves, finely sliced
  • 1tbsp gram flour, alternatively use rice flour or plain flour
  • 2tbsp cornflour (this is cornflour for UK readers and corn starch for US readers)

To sauté in the pan:

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green chillies, sliced
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 1tbsp neutral oil

You'll also need:

  • 300g oyster mushrooms
  • Oil for deep frying
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges


For the batter:

  1. Mix together the yogurt with the ground spices and seasoning (chilli powder, turmeric, cumin powder, coriander powder, black pepper, salt, and garam masala)
  2. Then add in the grated ginger and garlic, as well as the finely sliced curry leaves
  3. Next add in the chickpea flour and cornflour (corn starch for US readers) and whisk until it forms a thick batter

For frying:

  1. Split the oyster mushrooms into pieces by hand, if they’re already small you can leave them bunched. If using any other type of mushroom, simply cut into bite size pieces
  2. Mix the mushrooms into the batter by hand, do this gently to avoid breaking them
  3. Heat up a deep pan with sufficient oil for deep frying to 180’C/356’F, then carefully drop the mushrooms into the oil and fry until crispy (around 2 minutes). Do this in batches to prevent the oil temperature dropping and the mushrooms absorbing the oil and turning soggy
  4. Remove the fried mushrooms with a slotted spoon, and transfer to a paper towel lined rack/tray to absorb any excess oil

For the final pan fry:

  1. Place a wok/frying pan over a medium heat with 2 tbsp oil. Sauté the minced garlic, sliced green chillies, and curry leaves for around 2 minutes until the garlic is lightly golden and the curry leaves are crispy
  2. Then add the fried mushrooms and toss to coat
  3. Mushroom 65 is best served immediately. Serve alongside finely sliced red onion and a lemon wedge

Nutrition Information
Yield 3 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 538Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 2mgSodium 879mgCarbohydrates 95gFiber 8gSugar 7gProtein 15g

This is an automated calculation and hence may not be entirely accurate

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  • Reply
    V M
    February 23, 2024 at 6:17 am

    What is the approximate weight of mushrooms for this amount of batter please?

    • Reply
      February 23, 2024 at 3:11 pm

      I’m so sorry, that must have disappeared during my last update somehow. It was 300g of oyster mushrooms. I’ll get that added back in right now. Thank you for bringing my attention to this! Best wishes, Rish

  • Reply
    March 10, 2024 at 4:16 am

    Super delicious recipe. Whole family gulped it down in a minute! Thanks a lot.

    • Reply
      March 22, 2024 at 1:42 pm

      I’m so glad you guys enjoyed it!

  • Reply
    May 24, 2024 at 5:09 pm

    Hi! What do I use if I don’t have curry leaves, do I omit it altogether or is there a substitute?

    • Reply
      May 24, 2024 at 5:12 pm

      Hi there, you’d have to omit them as there’s no real substitute that provides the same flavour

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