Mushroom mania

According to legend, the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt loved iron-rich mushrooms. This fats-free, protein-rich food offers numerous health and nutrition benefits. Here are three simple mushroom recipes children will love – Parvathy Menon

Mushroom mania

Mushrooms boost vitamin D levels, metabolism and immunity, lower cholesterol, protect against cell and tissue damage and are rich in iron, calcium, and protein. In particular, white button mushrooms are one of the few non-animal sources of vitamin D. The high fibre content in mushrooms aids digestion and prevents constipation. They are also rich in antioxidants, including selenium, a powerful cancer-fighting antioxidant.

Given its numerous health benefits, it’s no wonder that many cultures around the world prize mushrooms as superfoods. In ancient Egypt, the pharaohs declared the fungi a royal food and forbade common people from eating them. It is estimated that there are 2,000-plus edible varieties of mushroom, but only about 10 are grown commercially. Button mushrooms, oyster mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms are available in India.

Mini creamy mushroom pies

(6 servings)

Ingredients

 25 gm butter
 1 tsp olive oil
 1 small onion, sliced
 1 crushed garlic clove
 350 gm sliced mushrooms
 100 ml cream
 1 beaten egg

Pastry (Knead 2 and 1/2 cups flour, two tsp sugar, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup cold water. To bake: Roll dough into 12 inches in diameter, transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate, trim excess dough, and fill with pie weights (dried beans or dry rice and bake with the pie weights at 400°F for 15 minutes. Cool until you need to fill with mushroom).

Preparation guide

 Heat the butter and oil in a frying pan. Add the onion and fry until soft.
 Add garlic, mushrooms, and salt, and cook for 5 minutes until the mushrooms are soft. Stir in the cream. Remove from heat and cool.
 Heat oven to 180°C-200°C.
 Divide the mushroom mix between the pies. Brush the pastry edges with a little egg, top each with a pastry lid and carefully press the pastry edges together to seal.
 Brush with the remaining egg. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden.
 Cool on a wire rack and keep in airtight containers for up to one day. Reheat before serving.

Mushrooms on toast

One-pot mushroom

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