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Mushroom magic

Friday, September 14, 2012

If, like us, you’ve fallen in love with the heady flavour, you’ll understand our fascination with the humble mushroom. Whether you want to make a mushroom dish at home or try one at a restaurant, Rhea Dhanbhoora & Dev Goswami help you out with some great picks from around the city

From the meaty shiitake and flavourful oyster to delicate saam and cute as a button, well, button mushrooms — there are too many types of mushrooms to keep track of. But, we love them all! The fleshy food is actually a fungus, but an oh-so-delicious one, don’t you think? Dunked in soup, accompanied with rice, stuffed, sautéed or fried, the humble mushroom is delicious in all its forms. We take you on a mushroom trail, bringing you the best mushroom dishes from restaurants across Mumbai.

Le Pain Quotidian: Mushroom Aglio Olio
Aglio Olio is always delicious as the olive oil, sprinkled with chili flakes and garlic can make almost any dish taste like heaven. And, the minute you poke your fork into the Mushroom Aglio Olio, you know you’re in for a treat. They’re perfectly sautéed and the olive oil mixture lifts the flavour of the mushroom instead of masking it. We’re sure you’ll be licking the bowl clean.
Price `250
Where LPQ outlets in Colaba and Bandra Kurla Complex
Contact 66150202 / 66431617

Koh by Ian Kittichai: Straw mushrooms
Plush interiors, dim lights and great Thai food aside — Koh by Ian Kittichai is a must-visit for mushroom lovers. Don’t miss out on the Straw Mushrooms, a dish heavy on black bean and galangal, with heady flavours of meaty shiitake and nutty hon shimeji mushrooms accentuating the delicate flavour of the straw, or saam mushrooms that are the star of this dish. The flavours are not too heavy, so you can taste each mushroom in almost its original state, combined with the subtle spices of the dish.
Price `650
Where Intercontinental Marine Drive, Marine Drive, Marine Lines
Contact 39879999

Twisted Fish: Bharwan Khumb
It’s going to come as something of a shock that we’re suggesting a fish restaurant for a mushroom dish. But, trust us when we say that the stuffed mushrooms, coated with a heady tandoori masala, are perfect at Twisted Fish. The mushrooms, although cooked through, are not chewy and rubbery and actually melt-in-your-mouth just five seconds after you sink your teeth into that perfect bite.
Price `190
Where The Unicontinental, 3rd Road, Off SV Road, Khar (W)
Contact 30932030

Apicius: Cappuccino Di Funghi Porcini
Frothy and creamy, the Cappuccino Mushroom at Apicius can be described in one word — delicious! The dish consists of mushroom broth, infused with a shot of espresso. Served in a coffee mug, the dish is one of the star items on Apicius’ menu. The soup is mildly spiced, so the first taste you will get is spiced mushrooms. Then you’ll taste the espresso which will leave you with a delicious coffee aftertaste.
Price `220
Where Bluewave building, Off Link Road, Opposite Bora Bora, Andheri (W)
Contact 26734338

Yellow Tree Café: Mushroom & Parma Ham Soup
The monsoon is the perfect time to tuck into a steaming bowl of soup and for mushroom lovers, it really doesn’t get better than the Mushroom & Parma Ham Soup at Yellow Tree Café. The soup has a lovely woody undertone with strong mushroom flavours bursting through it. We love the addition of the Parma ham as it adds a textural element to the dish. The soup is nice and thick, which means it’s filling enough for a light lunch.
Price `270
Where Ambedkar Road Junction, Bandra (W)
Contact 26487800

Saffron Bay: Pan Poli
Just a few weeks old, Saffron Bay offers some delicious food along with a mesmerising view of the Queen’s Necklace on Marine Drive. You must try their Pan Poli, which is a baked rice pancake dish, stuffed with mushrooms stir fried in fresh coconut, chilli paste and tamarind and topped with cheddar cheese. They serve it with a special tomato chutney.
Price `260
Where 39B, Chowpatty Seaface, Next to Café Coffee Day, Marine Drive, Marine Lines
Contact 23696991

Francessco’s Pizzeria: Fruits of the Forest
At first glance, Fruits of the Forest didn’t excite us that much — you might never order it. It may sound unappetising, but it sure tastes delicious. What sets the pizza apart is the mozzarella and parmesan. The chunks of button mushrooms, flavoured with thyme, hold their own. The juiciness of the mushrooms along with the flavour lent by the herbs makes this pizza one of the best vegetarian pizzas at Francessco’s.
Price `175 (7”), `275 (10”) and `385 (13”)
Where 5, Chinoy Mansion, Ground Floor, Warden Road, Kemps Corner
Contact 67527000

MasalAzone: Cheese Se Bhara Kumbh
Mushrooms usually taste pretty standard when it comes to Indian cuisine and that’s why we think the mushroom starter at Masalazone stands out. The Cheese Se Bhara Kumbh at Masalacraft is a must-have starter for those who love mushrooms. The big button mushrooms are stuffed with cheese and then lightly cooked so that the cheese is a lovely, melty texture and then lightly herbed. The heavy starter is skewered with grilled tomato and capsicum to add freshness to the value for money dish. To keep the mushroom theme going through your meal, try the Handi Sabzi for main course, a mixed vegetable dish with a good portion of mushrooms too.
Price `110
Where Opposite Leelavati Hospital, Bandra Reclamation, Bandra (W)
Contact 26452031

Out of the Blue: Stuffed Mushrooms
This delicious dish has mushrooms stuffed with cheese and capsicum and then deep fried. Served with a tangy sauce, these are a must-try for any mushroom lover.
Price `320
Where Outlets in Bandra and Powai
Contact 26003000

Lemon Grass: Mushroom Dumplings
The whole-wheat mushroom dumplings are served in a delicious scallion broth. The dumplings are tender, while the broth adds to the texture and flavour. This is one fulfilling mushroom dish, with subtle flavours that are not overpowering.
Price `230
Where Turner-Pali Road Junction, Bandra (W)
Contact 26429193

CafÉ Universal: Salt & Pepper Mushrooms
The Salt & Pepper Mushrooms at Café Universal really stand out. The mushrooms are prepared in a zesty, well-seasoned brown sauce, laced with ample amounts of spring onions and a hint of garlic. The button mushrooms are perfectly spiced and make for a great appetiser with your drinks. The portions too are generous, good enough for three people.
Price `120
Where 299, Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, Fort
Contact 22613985

Faasos: Mushroom Tikka
If you have had any of the Faasos wraps, then you know that all their wraps are value for money. The Mushroom Tikka Wrap has the right amount of spice, filled with tandoori masala that you will wish you could get your hands on to use at home. The best part is that Faasos is liberal with its mushrooms, ensuring that you get a mushroom in every bite.
Price `70
Where Faasos outlets across the city
Contact www.faasos.com

Try out these great ideas for your kitchen if you really love mushrooms!

Mushroom themed kitchen
If you really love mushrooms, think about making your entire kitchen match your favourite fungus.
Price `75,000 onward (Indian) and 2 lakh onward (German)
Where Johnson Kitchen stores across the city

Cooking mushrooms is even more fun in this gorgeous mushroom coloured pot from LeCreuset.
Price `4,982
Where At all Indigo Deli and Tresorie outlets across the city

Corniche in Bandra helps us out with some innovative mushroom recipes to get you started:
Mushroom Roast Onion & Ricotta Risotto

  •  60g Arborio rice
  •  20g Grana Padano cheese
  •  20ml white wine
  •  10g garlic peeled
  •  20g onion
  •  2g oyster mushrooms
  •  2g shiitake mushrooms
  •  20g ricotta cheese
  •  30g fresh mushrooms
  •  30g mushroom paste
  •  20g rich cooking cream
  •  2 portions garlic bread
  •  50ml olive oil
  •  40g butter


  •  Soak the shiitake and oyster mushroom in hot water.
  •  Sauté the three types of mushrooms keeping some aside.
  •  Toss the remaining mushrooms with oil, garlic, wine and cream and make a paste.
  •  Separately take some onion and mushrooms, cut in into cubes, dry and keep aside.
  •  Sauté garlic and add rice and sauté well. Now add mushroom paste and vegetable stock.
  •  Put the roast onion and mushroom paste in vegetable stock. Check for seasoning when the rice is cooked.
  •  Add the ricotta cheese; cook the risotto for some time.
  •  Add the parmesan cheese and butter and serve.


  •  10g oyster mushrooms
  •  10g shiitake mushrooms
  •  20g fresh mushrooms
  •  40g mushroom paste
  •  50g white sauce
  •  30ml Amul fresh cream
  •  10g garlic peeled
  •  1g parsley
  •  20g Parmesan cheese
  •  10g olive tapenade
  •  80g pasta penne
  •  2 portions garlic bread
  •  80ml olive oil
  •  1g salt


  •  Soak shiitake and oyster mushroom in hot water and cut into cubes.
  •  Sauté remaining mushroom with garlic and make the pasta and keep aside.
  •  Blanch the pasta in hot boiling water with oil and salt. Keep aside.
  •  Now make the white sauce for it by mixing together butter and refined flour and add it to the boiling milk. Cook it well.
  •  Now take a pan, sauté garlic,. add cubed mushrooms to it. Add some white sauce and then the pasta and cream. Cook for a while, check for seasoning. Lastly, add the parmesan cheese to it.
  •  Garnish with olive tapenade, grated parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Serve hot with garlic bread.


  •  You might think that everything that is a delight for your tongue is bad for your health. However, mushrooms are actually good for your health with an amino acid count that is higher than what you would find in corn, peanuts or soy beans.
  •  Mushrooms also have good vitamin content which is similar to what you would find in meat, making them a good meat substitute for vegetarians.
  •  Just like the word bibliophile, there is actually a word called mycophile. The word is used for people whose hobby is hunting for wild and edible mushrooms.
  •  Armillaria solidipes, which is also known as the honey mushroom, is believed to be one of the world’s largest living organisms. Found in the Malheur National Forest in Oregon, USA, it has been growing for around 2,400 years and is spread over 3.4 square miles.
  •  Mushrooms have no chlorophyll (which is responsible for the green colour of plants) and so, they do not need sunlight to grow. Some of the earliest documented mushroom farms were actually set up in the dark caves of France, during the reign of King Louis XIV.


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