Mushrooms in Bengali & Indian Cooking Explained

A mushroom, also known as toadstool, refers to a fleshy fruiting structure of fungus usually grown above the ground, on its food source or soil. Mushroom is a nutrition-rich veggie though not very common in Indian cuisines.

However, it is used to prepare a variety of mouth-watering dishes such as mushroom curries, mushroom pulao, mushroom stir fry, mushroom biryani and many more.

In this blog post, I will try to discover and cover the most popular mushroom dishes in Indian cuisines.

Years ago, mushrooms were considered an exotic vegetable. But now, it is widely regarded as a super food.

It is a valuable source of vitamin D and fibre. Mushrooms are high in selenium found only in a few fruits and veggies.

Though at a slow pace, mushrooms have been gaining prominence in Indian kitchens. It is yet to make inroads into many village kitchens.

However, its nutritional profile along with the earthy texture has made mushrooms adorable on many health-conscious urban Indians’ dinner platters.

Cooking Mushrooms

Use of Mushrooms in Bengali and Indian Cuisines

Versatility of mushroom is a big asset for the Indian chefs and home cooks.

They explore this quality to use mushrooms in preparing a wider variety of recipes, from salads to soups, curries to stir fried, baked to sautéed and several others.

Though the immense culinary possibilities with mushrooms are yet to explore to the fullest, some delicious recipes are already making waves.

Bongs don’t have any mushroom recipe of their own. They usually use mushrooms as filling in sandwiches. These days, mushrooms are used in the making of vegetables or mixed chow mein.

However, the Bengalis are now trying different mushroom dishes, both Indian and continental, sometimes with an interesting twist to them.

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Mushroom masala curry is a rich, spicy curry made with mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, herbs and spices. It tastes truly sumptuous. The full-of-flavour gravy goes with plain jeera rice, pulao, rotis or parathas.

Kombu Barthad is a traditional kurg recipe still enjoyed in a large part of Karnataka. Basically it is mushroom chilly fry. The dish is plain and easy to make.

However, it scores high on taste quotient. Mushroom is stir-fried with chillies, coconut and curry leaves, with vinegar added for tangy taste and to balance the sweetness of coconut.

Kalan milagu is a popular South Indian dish. It is a quick-to-make recipe made with only a few ingredients. Mushroom is stir-fried and mixed with black pepper. The slightly chilly dish is best enjoyed with steamed rice.

Are you a foodie? If yes, you have certainly heard about chettinad. This signature recipe from Tamil Nadu is one of the spiciest and tastiest dishes in Indian cuisines.

For mushroom chettinad, mushrooms are cooked with chillies, coconut, pepper and tamarind. It offers a lip-smacking sweet-sour taste.

Matar mushroom sukhe is a perfect dish for those who have sworn to cut on spices. However, even those, who like the spicy recipes, will admire this light but delicious dish.

Mushrooms are tossed with green peas and mild spices. The colour of the dish and its simplicity ooze the real charm.

Mushroom uttapam gives an exciting twist to the plain uttapam recipe, a South Indian special. The addition of mushroom, corn and spinach makes the dish rich in taste and nutrition as well.

Mushroom xacuti is a Goan classic dish. It is a spicy mushroom curry that explores the goodness of a few ingredients such as coconut, kokum and tamarind. Goan vinegar is used for added tanginess. Some varieties also use potatoes.

Kofta and Kebab are among the specialities in Indian cuisines. Both are loaded with spices and extremely delicious.

Mushroom palak kofta is an innovative dish that uses the goodness of both palak and mushroom.

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Little puff pastry cases are stuffed with creamy, luscious, savoury fillings of mixed mushrooms, decorated with berry jam and thyme topping.

It is now a hot favourite snack in many upper-class Indians’ dinner parties.

Mushroom kofta in tomato gravy is an aromatic blend of distinct flavours. A complete appetizer and crowd-teaser as it is, this dish is a must-have snack for many evening parties.

Cottage cheese and spinach batter is stuffed with mushroom filling and fried golden. They are allowed to float lazily in thick tomato gravy and served hot with naan or paratha.

We don’t talk much about Jharkhand recipes. But they also have their own special dishes. Rugda curry is one such recipe right out of the kitchens in this beautiful eastern state.

This curry is named after rugda mushroom, a special type of mushroom, also called puttu in the local language.

If you love spicy dishes, it will be perfect for your dinner or lunch. The dish goes great with chapatis.

Mushroom butter masala is an excellent alternative to famous chicken butter masala. The style of preparation remains the same; only mushroom replaces chicken.

The tanginess of tomatoes and sweetness of onions and cashews nicely blend with garlic and spices.

The rich, creamy texture is irresistibly tempting. Try it with paratha or naan; you will be transported to heaven.

Peeper mushrooms and stuffed dhania is a quick and smacking snack for any dinner party.

An aromatic filling of garlic, cheese, pepper and coriander leaves goes into the mushroom caps. Fresh tomato chutney gives it an extra kick.

Potato and mushroom kebabs explore the goodness and versatility of both mushroom and potato. Mushroom is the real king and potato is the queen of the dish.

The royal pair is accompanied by spices and cottage cheese. Homemade mango pickle brings the dish alive.

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Shahi mushroom – the name says it all. It will be a royal burst of flavours on your taste buds. Button mushrooms are coated with rich, flavourful gravy; freshly prepared shahi garam masala gives the magic finishing touch.

Replace the chunks of chicken or mutton with small or large mushroom pieces to make mushroom biryani.

It is a wonderful veg version of beloved biryani. The taste is unforgettable; take my words for it.

Mushroom pulao makes a special addition of mushroom to the recipe. The spongy vegetable adds a distinct taste loved by people of all ages.

Is Mushroom Tasty?

Edible mushrooms taste earthy and a little woodsy. It has a meaty flavour.

It contains umami, the fifth primary taste that is savoury, brothy and lingering. The taste spreads across your tongue.

What Are the Best Recipes for Mushrooms?

I prefer spicy dishes to plain stir-fried or sautéed mushrooms. Mushroom chettinad and mushroom butter masala are my personal favourites for dinner.

I also love to dig into mushroom masala curry and mushroom kofta occasionally. Mushroom kebab is one of the most delicious kebabs I have ever tried. What are your best mushroom recipes?

How Do You Know When Mushrooms Are Cooked?

Mushroom appears light brown and feels tender after it is properly cooked.

What Goes Well with Mushrooms?

It depends on the recipe. Most mushroom recipes go great with chapatis, naan or parathas. Some are best enjoyed with steamed rice.

Kebabs are perfect for snacks and don’t need any staple food for accompaniment.

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