Oils Used In Indian Cooking
By Nmami Agarwal
New cooking oils are introduced in market claiming for overall well being. But it only adds confusion in the shopping basket as every supermarket is displaying a number of brands saying the same thing. So, what oil should be chosen over, when array of cooking oils surrounds your shopping basket creating so much of utter confusion? Wel,l the answer is simple! Different oils have their own different properties, color, and texture which is changed when cooked or heated.
Changes occurred in the properties, color and texture of the cooking oils in the process of heating are different stories. There are number of oils which are not worth picking up from supermarket shelves as they starts degrading and release toxins when cooked on high heat. Whereas, certain oils are still present in the market which do not lose their properties and benefits even when cooked at high heat and are the proven source of good health. Here’s a list of the oils used in Indian cooking that are suitable for Indian cooking:
- Sunflower Oil: Sunflower oil is a mixture of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, full of antioxidants and tocopherols, which helps to fight against free radicals. It holds its nutritional values even at high smoking point and this is the reason why it is widely used in deep frying samosas, chips and vegetables. Diabetics need to be careful when adding sunflower oil to their diet as there is the possibility of increased blood sugar level.
- Rice Bran Oil: A fairly new kid and fast rising oil extracted from the outer layer of rice. Chemical called oryzanol is found in rice bran oil which is good for the cholesterol. Due to its high smoking point it can be heated at high temperatures without any disintegration of its properties and works well for cooking quick stir-fries as well as deep-fried treats. It polyunsaturated fats and fair amount of monounsaturated fats too, both the good type of fats.
- Coconut oil: Coconut oil is nearly consisted of 62 percent of healthy fatty acids, 91 percent of healthy saturated fats and provides a good source of energy to your body. Saturated fats content increases the healthy cholesterol level and also helps in converting bad cholesterol into good cholesterol. Food cooked in hospitals is extensively cooked in coconut oil due to the rich amount of MCT (medium chain triglycerides) content as they are easy to digest.
- Sesame Oil: Sesame oil has high content of polyunsaturated, monounsaturated fats and contains copper, magnesium, vitamin B6, calcium and iron. Adding polyunsaturated fats rich foods helps in lowering your cholesterol levels and also lowers the risk of heart disease type-2 diabetes. Its mild flavour and high smoking point makes it preferable to be added in kitchen shelves for deep frying and cooking vegetables.
- Mustard Oil: Mustard Oil is very popular in Indian kitchens and been heated till it smokes to improve its flavour. This process of heating up the oil neutralizes the risk from allyl isothiocyanate in it, which is destroyed during cooking making the oil perfect for deep frying.
Over to you:
So, before randomly picking up the cooking oils and getting flattered by some catchy taglines promising for good health, do think twice. And consider adding the above recommended oils while cooking and be safe from blended oils available in market which can do more harm than good to your health.
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