Monsoon Tips: 5 Mistakes To Avoid While Preparing Mushrooms

Along with soothing rain and a cooling breeze, monsoons also bring a variety of fresh produce for us, such as corn, jamun, carrots, and various green vegetables. They are not only delicious in taste but also provide us with various nutrients that help improve our overall health. Mushrooms are another monsoon delight that is widely consumed in India

Available in many varieties, such as button, oyster, rugda, and olmi, these edible fungi are loaded with plenty of essential nutrients. According to WebMD, mushrooms are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, along with being low in calories. Incorporating them into your diet can lower blood pressure, boost the immune system, and aid weight loss. Some popular dishes prepared with mushrooms are soup, garlic mushrooms, curry, biryani, and mushroom chilli. It can also become a part of your sandwiches, pizza, spaghetti, and pasta.

Mushrooms are a delicious vegetable, but if not cooked properly, they can ruin the entire dish instead of improving it. So, here are five mistakes to avoid while cooking mushrooms: 

Not Washing Properly

This is the first and most important step in cooking mushrooms. During monsoons, they are more prone to insects and bacteria because of the moisture-laden atmosphere, so always clean them properly. It is better to wash them beforehand and dry them out well, as they have a habit of soaking up water. Wash them and let them dry for at least one hour before cooking, or else they will become soggy.

Adding Salt Too Early

Salt is an important ingredient for preparing mushrooms, but never add it too early. Adding salt immediately after throwing mushrooms in the pan will give them an unpleasant rubbery texture and spoil the taste. This is because mushrooms lose water naturally while cooking, and salt will accelerate the process, making them dry out too quickly. So, always add salt near the end of cooking. 

Slicing Them Too Thin 

This is another common mistake that most of us make. Thinly sliced mushrooms can be good for pizza but not for other dishes such as soups, stews, and curries. This is because they tend to shrink during cooking. So, if you want to get the right texture, always slice them into thicker pieces. Slice them into half an inch of thickness for best results. 

Cooking Them At The Wrong Temperature

The temperature of your cooking stove plays a crucial role while preparing mushroom dishes. No matter which variety of mushroom you're preparing, if the temperature is not right, your dish will either be damp or burnt. For roasting, the right temperature is medium-high heat, and when pan-frying them, prefer medium heat. As they are naturally full of water, cooking on a low flame can make them soggy. Also, do not go for too much heat, as they can burn. 

Not Using Enough Oil

Just like water, mushrooms also absorb oil. Therefore, always add enough oil to the cooking pot to prevent it from burning. You can use any kind of cooking fat, from light olive oil to rich butter, but just make sure that you have added enough. This applies to all kinds of mushrooms. Another important point is that mushrooms take longer to cook as compared to other vegetables, so do not be afraid to leave them on the stove for a little longer.