Different Types of Mushrooms in India: Characteristics and Benefits

13 Sep 2023
Different Types of Mushrooms in India: Characteristics and Benefits Article
Mushrooms are an exotic vegetable. It is a fungus, not a vegetable and consists of 90% water. This spore-bearing, fleshing fungus has a unique taste and is widely used to prepare delicious recipes. There are several types of mushrooms available in India. These are Button Mushroom, Oyster Mushroom, and Shiitake Mushroom, among others.

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Mushrooms, often called the "meat of the vegetable world," have gained immense popularity in recent years for their unique taste, texture, and health benefits. India, with its varied climatic conditions and rich biodiversity, is home to a wide variety of mushrooms.

From the common button mushrooms to the exotic shiitake and oyster mushrooms, the different types of mushrooms available in India offer a distinctive flavour and numerous health advantages. The mushrooms are rich in protein and dietary fibres.

In this blog, we will explore some of the best types of mushrooms in India to eat, their characteristics, and their benefits.

Types of Mushrooms Found in India

In this section, we will discuss the different types of mushrooms to eat in India. The list is given below:

Button Mushroom (Agaricus bisporus)

Mushroom Varieties - Button Mushroom

Characteristics: Button mushrooms are the most consumed mushrooms worldwide. They are small, round, and white with a delicate flavour and tender texture. They are usually available year-round and often used in salads, soups, and culinary dishes.

Benefits of Button Mushroom

  • They are low in calories and fat, making them an ideal choice for Weight Watchers.
  • They are rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D, which is crucial for bone health.
  • It contains antioxidants that help boost the immune system.
  • It promotes heart health by reducing cholesterol levels.
  • It supports digestive health due to its dietary fibre content.

Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus)

Mushroom Varieties - Oyster Mushroom

Characteristics: Oyster mushrooms are named after their resemblance to oyster shells. They come in various colours, including white, pink, and brown, and have a mild, nutty flavour. Oyster mushrooms are often used in stir-fried soups and as a meat substitute in vegetarian dishes.

Benefits of Oyster Mushroom

  • They are an excellent source of protein, making them a valuable addition to vegetarian and vegan diets.
  • Rich in B vitamins, particularly niacin and riboflavin, which aid in energy production.
  • They contain ergosterol, a precursor of vitamin D, which is essential for bone health.
  • They support immune function due to the presence of beta-glucans.
  • They may help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation.

Shiitake Mushroom (Lentinula edodes)

Mushroom Varieties - Shiitake Mushroom

Characteristics: Shiitake mushrooms are native to East Asia and have a distinct, savoury flavour often described as umami. They have a brown cap and are widely used in Asian cuisine, especially in dishes like miso soup and stir-fries.

Benefits of Shiitake Mushroom

  • Rich in compounds like lentinan, which have anti-cancer properties.
  • They contain eritadenine, which may help lower cholesterol levels.
  • High in vitamins and minerals, such as copper, zinc, and selenium.
  • They support the immune system and may help fight infections.
  • They are known for their potential to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Reishi Mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum)

Mushroom Varieties - Reishi Mushroom

Characteristics: Reishi mushrooms, also known as Lingzhi, have a glossy, reddish-brown cap and a bitter taste. They have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine for their medicinal properties.

Benefits of Reishi Mushroom

  • They possess strong antioxidant properties that combat free radicals in the body.
  • They are known to improve sleep quality and reduce stress and anxiety.
  • They may enhance the body's ability to fight infections and illnesses.
  • They support liver health and aid in detoxification.
  • They are often used in herbal remedies for various ailments.

Maitake Mushroom (Grifola frondosa)

Mushroom Varieties - Maitake Mushroom

Characteristics: Maitake mushrooms, also called hen-of-the-woods, have a unique appearance with overlapping, fan-like clusters. They have a savoury flavour and are often used in Japanese and Chinese cuisine.

Benefits of Maitake Mushroom

  • They are rich in beta-glucans, which boost the immune system and reduce inflammation.
  • They may help regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
  • They contain compounds that support heart health and lower cholesterol.
  • They promote weight loss by increasing satiety and reducing calorie intake.
  • They provide a good source of vitamins and minerals, including potassium and vitamin D.

Chanterelle Mushroom (Cantharellus cibarius)

Mushroom Varieties - Chanterelle Mushroom

Characteristics: Chanterelle mushrooms are known for their trumpet-like shape and bright orange-to-yellow colour. They have a fruity aroma and a mild, nutty flavour. These mushrooms are highly sought after by chefs for their unique taste.

Benefits of Chanterelle Mushroom

  • They are low in calories and fat, making them a healthy addition to meals.
  • They are rich in vitamin C, which supports skin health and boosts the immune system.
  • They contain dietary fibre for digestive health.
  • They provide essential minerals like potassium and manganese.
  • They may have anti-inflammatory properties.


Mushrooms are not only delicious but also offer a wide range of health benefits. From the common button mushroom to the exotic reishi and maitake varieties, each type has its unique characteristics and nutritional advantages. Including a variety of mushrooms in your diet can provide a wealth of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants while adding flavour and diversity to your meals.

We hope this blog was able to give you a fair idea of the different types of mushrooms in India. To learn more, contact Tractorkarvan anytime!

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