1. Health & Lifestyle

Top Mushroom Varieties that Add Flavor to Indian Recipes!

Shipra Singh
Shipra Singh
White button mushrooms
White button mushrooms

Mushroom is regarded as an exotic vegetable. But mushroom is a fungus, not a vegetable! And it constitutes about 90% water.

This spore-bearing, fleshing fungus carries a distinct taste and makes for yummy recipes. Some mushrooms have a “meaty” taste, so people who wish to switch to a vegetarian diet can add mushrooms to their recipes. They won’t miss the ‘meat’ in their dish!

Mushrooms are widely used in Japanese, Chinese, European, and Korean cuisines. In India, this fungus is gradually finding a place in the country’s cuisines.

Here is a list of mushroom varieties available in India.

1. White Button Mushrooms

These are the commonest mushrooms and carry a mild taste. They are also called champignon (de Paris). They are best for salads, soups, and pizza toppings. You can eat them cooked or raw.

Nutrition and health benefits:

White button mushrooms have low sugar and calorie content. They are high in protein and VitaminsB12 and D2. Both vitamins are found in meat. So, mushrooms can be a good substitute of meat for vegetarians.

According to doctors, eating white button mushrooms on a regular basis can protect you from cancers, enhance insulin resistance, and decrease blood sugar level. It also helps the gut bacteria to flourish because it is prebiotic.

Portobello mushroom

2. Portobello Mushrooms

Originated in grasslands of North America and Europe, these are one of the commonest eaten mushrooms across the globe. In the young stage, they are white button and then become meaty and earthy in flavor and texture with bigger “umbrella-like” size.

Nutrition and health benefits:

They are rich in Vitamins B6 and D, selenium, copper, and niacin, plus antioxidants.

Shiitake mushrooms

3. Shiitake Mushrooms

This is a Japanese mushroom. Its name means “oak fungus.” These are chewy mushrooms with meaty texture. Shiitake mushroom has many other names viz; brown oak, black mushroom, Chinese black, black forest, or black winter.

The mushrooms go well in soups, stir-fried vegetable dishes, and recipes that are simmered and steamed. They enhance the flavor of the dish.

Nutrition and health benefits:

Do you know shiitake mushrooms possess antiviral and antibacterial properties?

The mushrooms are rich in fiber and Vitamin B. They are low in calories. They help to boost immunity, help in better diabetes management, lower levels of blood cholesterol, and help arteries that have hardened due to plague. Besides, they are anti-aging in nature when eaten regularly.

Due to the mushroom’s medicinal properties, they are used as one of the ingredients in powdered herbal supplements.

Oyster mushroom

4. Oyster Mushrooms

A big variety of edible wild mushroom, this one grows chiefly on decaying wood. Don’t worry, it’s still healthy to eat! They possess mild sweet taste and anise-like aroma. Their flesh is soft and texture is velvety.

These mushrooms look like oyster, hence, are called oyster mushrooms. 

 Nutrition and health benefits:

These are fat-free and rich in essential minerals. They contain Vitamins B6, niacin, thiamin, and riboflavin.

It helps in boosting metabolism, immunity, and heart health.

Know how a farmer grows and sells superfood mushroom in Rajasthan

Enoki mushrooms

5. Enoki Mushrooms

This small mushroom variety with long thin stems and shiny small white caps is loved in East Asian cuisines. They are also known as golden needle mushrooms thanks to their slender thin stems.

They taste great in sandwiches, salads, pasta sauces, and soups. Their fruity flavor adds a unique taste to your dish. The wild ones are a bit damp and dark brown with shorter and thicker stem.

Nutrition and health benefits:

The mushrooms are rich in calcium, copper, thiamin, iron, phosphorus, selenium, and Vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B5. They have low cholesterol level and are high in dietary fibers and amino acids. They decrease risk of allergies and enhance digestion.

Shimeji mushrooms

6. Shimeji Mushrooms

Also called beech brown mushroom, buna shimeji, and clamshell mushrooms, these mushrooms thrive on dead beech trees. With origins in East Asia and also grown in Norther Europe, these mushrooms feature speckled brown caps that are a bit cracked. Their base is white.

You can eat them raw, but they taste bitter. When you cook them, they give a sweet nutty taste and are crunchy to eat. They are best used in stir-fried dishes, sauces, stews, and soups. You can also saute them whole with stems.

Planning to prepare a noodle dish? Use Shimeji mushrooms to add distinctness to the taste of your dish.

Nutrition and health benefits:

Shimeji mushrooms contain aspartic acid, guanylic acid, and glutamic acid. It is rich in zinc, copper, Vitamin B group, and protein, plus dietary fiber. This mushroom is low in sodium, fat, and cholesterol.

Do you know Shimeji mushrooms are antiparasitic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and anticarcinogenic?

Porcini mushrooms

7. Porcini Mushrooms

One of the most loved mushrooms of Italy, Porcini mushrooms are big in size with caps that can extend to upto a whopping 12 inches in diameter. They come in various varieties. Popular one has a thick stem, which is a bit sticky, and reddish brown cap. Its flavor is nutty and woody. Texture is smooth. These aromatic mushrooms are great for gourmet dishes.

They blend well with sauces, eggs, pasta, meat, and vegetarian recipes.

Nutrition and health benefits:

If you wish to build muscle mass, eat Porcini mushrooms due to their high protein content. They are also rich in iron and fiber. They also improve immunity.

Paddy Straw mushrooms

8. Paddy Straw Mushrooms

This mushroom is grown in India since 1940 and is as popular as white button variety. Paddy Straw mushrooms are cold in nature, so are best for summer.

Nutrition and health benefits:

The mushrooms are rich in iron, copper, potassium, folic acid, Vitamins B, C, and D, fiber, and protein. It contains natural insulin that helps in diabetes. The beta-glucan in it helps to stop cancerous cell growth in the body. Eating this mushroom regularly helps in anemia.


People are not much aware of this interesting edible fungus called mushrooms. So, they hesitate to include it in their recipes. However, mushrooms are packed with nutrients and taste. Bring home a pack of mushrooms today and cook a delicious dish.

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