Who doesn’t love delicious food? The deliciousness of Indian cuisine is admired globally. World-renowned chefs like Gordon Ramsay, Gary Mehigan, and more, all praise the flavours of India, and are inspired by them.
Most of them are fascinated by how oils are used to carry flavours across the dish. Some are fascinated by pungent mustard oil, while others are intrigued by ghee and coconut oil.
Plus, there are arrays of oils, making it even harder to find which oil is best for Indian cooking without compromising its flavours and nutritional value.
Don’t you worry! This blog addresses the issue of finding the best cooking oil according to various health conditions without depriving flavours. By the end of this blog, you can make an informed choice about selecting the best oil for cooking in India.
Table of Contents
Let’s see the different varieties of oil that are readily available in the market.
Readily Available Healthy Cooking Oils for Indian Cuisine
Oils have been part of our daily lives, knowingly or unknowingly. They are used for cooking, body massages, oil pulling, aromatherapy, and so on.
Oils, when used correctly, promote overall health and wellness. Our focus today is on exploring which oil is best for Indian cooking among the various cold-pressed and wood-pressed oils.
So, here are 7 selective wood-pressed and cold-pressed healthy oil for Indian cooking, that are easily available and provide numerous health benefits when used in cooking.
- Ghee or clarified butter
- Coconut oil
- Mustard Oil
- Groundnut Oil
- Sesame Oil
- Safflower Oil
- Olive Oil
The benefits of these oils and how to buy and use them have been covered in previous blogs. You can easily find them in the recommended articles.
Now, if you use any of the oils, then you must know 5 qualities about them. Take a look, as they will help you find which oil is best for cooking in India!
What Are the 5 Must-Have Qualities of a Healthy Oil
Oil is only referred to as healthy when it is close to its natural state. But during the extraction process of oil from seeds, a lot of changes occur.
That’s why it's important to buy healthy oil to enjoy its health benefits. The 5 qualities of the best cooking oil are:
Make sure the oil is unrefined and made only by the wood-pressed or cold-pressed method. The unrefined oil has a higher nutrient content.
High Smoke Point
The smoke point is the temperature that indicates the safe temperature of the oil. Low-smoke point oils are ideal for low-heat cooking, and vice versa.
Several unrefined oils have a high smoke point (coconut oil, groundnut oil), while many have a lower smoke point (olive oil).
Balanced Fatty Acid Composition
Oils are made of fats or fatty acids (Mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fatty acids, triglycerides, trans fats, etc.). They are responsible for the increase or decrease of good and bad cholesterol in the body.
The fatty acids in oils should be in a balanced proportion. Also, no vegetable oil has cholesterol.
Free of additives and preservatives
Make sure the oil is free of any additives and preservatives. They degrade the quality of oil and may adversely affect health in the long run. Most refined oils have these to improve their appearance, stability, and shelf life.
It is a no-brainer that organically grown oil seeds yield healthier and more tasty oil compared to inorganic oil seeds.
So, the best oil product should be unrefined, preservative-free, organically grown, have a high smoke point, and have a good proportion of fatty acids to provide maximum health benefits and be value for money.
Now that you know how to buy oils; the next thing to consider is which oil is best for you or your family member’s health condition.
Oils have different properties, making them suitable for various health problems. Let’s see where you can use the above-listed 7- oils and, amongst them, which oil is best for Indian cooking.
Different Oils For Different Purposes/ Best-Suited Oils to Cook with Different Health Conditions
The human body is prone to several ill effects, including heart diseases, blood pressure issues/ hypertension, high cholesterol, Diabetes, deficiencies, fatty liver, obesity, etc. are just a few of the most commonly known health problems.
The primary goal of cooking is to create meals filled with ingredients that improve these health problems. Especially in Indian cooking, oils are used as a carrier for including the much-required fatty acids to balance a meal.
However, no one oil has all kinds of fatty acids. That’s why, for various health conditions, it's important to choose the right oil.
The chart below is about the 7 healthy oils and the health conditions under which they can be used for cooking.
Ideal for Cooking in Following Health Conditions
Ghee or Clarified butter
Weak bone-to-muscle elasticity, and arthritis.
Poor bone health, skin health, digestion, brain health, and eye health.
Constipation, poor absorption, and a weak immune response.
In pregnancy and postpartum recovery.
Coconut oil (wood-pressed or Cold-pressed)
For high cholesterol, inflammation, arthritis, and fatty liver disease.
For type II diabetes
Treatment of Alzheimer’s, poor brain function, and memory loss
To lower bad cholesterol and high blood pressure
For gallbladder disease and pancreatitis
For gum and tooth disease
In cases of poor bone health causing osteoporosis
Weight management, burning excessive fat
Mustard Oil (wood-pressed or Cold-pressed)
Ideal for heart diseases, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol
For reducing inflammation, joint pain
In diabetes, to reduce blood sugar levels
Deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids
Groundnut Oil (wood-pressed or Cold-pressed)
Beneficial for diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and high cholesterol.
Poor bone health, joint pains and arthritis
Sesame Oil (wood-pressed or Cold-pressed)
Heart conditions, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure
Ideal for controlling diabetes
Safflower Oil (wood-pressed or Cold-pressed)
Heart conditions, diabetes, high blood pressure,and high cholesterol
To improve blood circulation and bone health
To reduce the chances of breast cancer and tumour
For weight loss, fat burn
Olive Oil (wood-pressed or Cold-pressed)
Heart conditions, weak immunity, poor gut health
Cholesterol issues, inflammation, and type 2 diabetes
For poor bone health, joint pain, and arthritis
So, which oil is best for Indian cooking or specifically for your kind of cooking? Still not sure?
Alright, no worries! Head down below to know the best suitable oils for different cooking methods.
How to Choose Cooking Oil for Different Techniques Used in Indian Cooking
The Indian cooking method, or any cooking method, is all about the highs and lows of heat/ temperature. The type of cooking method depends on the food being cooked, and that’s when people usually forget about the suitability of cooking oil. Not all oils are suited for high-and dry-heat cooking.
Therefore, it is important to select the right oil for any cooking technique. Otherwise, you will end up burning oil, spoiling food flavours, and affecting your health. Let’s see different oils and their suitability for various cooking methods.
The data below has been gathered from various sources and gives a general idea about the approximate temperature range for different cooking methods – based on which oils are recommended.
Recommended Cooking Oil
Tempering or Tadka
140 to 180 degrees Celsius
Coconut oil, groundnut oil, sesame oil, ghee, mustard oil, and safflower oil
Pan Frying/ Sauteing Indian recipes only
110 to 140 degrees Celsius
Coconut oil, groundnut oil, sesame oil, ghee, mustard oil, safflower oil, and olive oil
Deep Frying/ shallow frying
170 to 190 degrees Celsius
Ghee, coconut oil, safflower oil, mustard oil, and groundnut oil
For Max 180 degrees Celsius
Ghee, mustard oil, coconut oil, groundnut oil, and safflower oil
For max 180 degrees Celsius
For above 180 degrees Celsius
Coconut oil, safflower oil, groundnut oil, and mustard oil
That should clear the smoke around which oil is best for Indian cooking, isn’t it?
Pro-Tip: Use Blends of Oils to maximise health benefits and enhance the flavours of your meals.
FAQ: Which oil is best for Indian cooking?
Which cooking oil is most used in India?
India is blessed with an array of oils, and Indian cuisine sure knows which oil is best for what. In general, the oils that are part of the monthly grocery staples of Indians are mustard oil, coconut oil, groundnut oil, sesame oil, and the favourite of all “ghee”.
Which cold-pressed oil is best for Indian cooking?
Cold-pressed or wood-pressed oils are unrefined oils. They are rich in nutrients and flavour, and they are healthy to cook with. The wood-pressed or cold-pressed oils that are ideal for Indian cooking are mustard oil, coconut oil, groundnut oil, safflower oil, and sesame oil.
Which is the healthiest oil to cook with?
The healthiest cooking oil must be organic, unrefined, have a good fatty acid composition, have a high smoke point, and be free from additives and preservatives. A few of them are wood-pressed coconut oil, groundnut oil, safflower oil, sesame oil, and mustard oil. Don’t forget traditionally made ghee.
All of these oils' cold-pressed or wood-pressed forms can withstand high-heat cooking.
Which edible oil is best for heart health in India?
Oils like canola oil and olive oil are some best edible oil in India because of their lower soaked fat substance. They might assist with lessening the gamble of coronary illness when utilized with some restraint.
Which cooking oil is good for health in India?
For a better choice, oils like olive oil and canola oil are great decisions because of their lower soaked fat substance. Notwithstanding, involving various oils with some restraint can likewise be advantageous for generally wellbeing.
Which is the best refined oil for heart?
Olive oil, canola oil, and sunflower oil are considered the best refined oils for heart health due to their high unsaturated fat content.
We hope that now you are well equipped with all the pointers needed to decide “Which oil is best for Indian cooking?”.
Just a reminder: don’t forget that wood-pressed or cold-pressed oils have better nutritional properties and more health benefits than refined oils. Also, remember to cook with oil as per the health condition. Try adding multiple oils in a regulated manner in your cooking to reap maximum benefits.
Two Brothers also offer a range of wood-pressed and cold-pressed oils that are traditionally made and of high quality with natural aromas, flavours, and nutrients. Buy them now!
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