In India, food is not just a necessity; it is an integral part of our culture and traditions. As we celebrate the auspicious occasion of Ugadi and Gudi Padwa, the festival of new beginnings, we are reminded of the importance of using the right ingredients to create the perfect feast. And one such ingredient that is often overlooked, but can make a significant difference in taste, texture, and health quotient is cooking oil.
Across India, various types of cooking oils are used to enhance the flavour and aroma of dishes. From the rich and nutty groundnut oil in Central and South Indian cooking to the bold and pungent mustard oil used in Northern parts, each oil has its unique characteristics that can bring out the best in our food.
But as we strive for a healthier lifestyle, it is essential to consider not just the taste but also the quality of the oil we use. This is where cold-pressed oils come in. These oils are extracted without heat or chemicals, retaining the natural goodness of the seeds or nuts they are made from. They are less processed and contain no additives, making them a healthier option for cooking.
Incorporating cold-pressed oils into our festive feast is a great way to take a step towards a healthier lifestyle without compromising on taste. Not only are they a healthier alternative, but they also add an extra layer of flavour to our dishes. So this festive season, try different cuisines from across India and impress your loved ones with a delicious and healthy feast using cold-pressed oils.
A piping hot plate of a delicious Boorelu, a mouthwatering Vadai, or a crispy Gujarati Phulwadi, what do they have in common? The irresistible, nutty flavour of groundnut oil.
Groundnut oil is a staple in the Southern and Western parts of India, used abundantly in snacks, curries, canned food, and stir-fries. It’s the go-to choice for frying vadas, pakodas, pooris, fish and chicken, as it imparts a rich, nutty flavour and has a high smoking point. Anything cooked in groundnut oil comes out crispy on the outside and moist on the inside, making it a must-have ingredient for making these savoury treats.
It’s also a versatile oil that works well with all kinds of Indian cooking, thanks to its non-intrusive taste. From Mixed Sprouts Poha to Paneer Veggie Wraps, there are countless Indian dishes that can be prepared using groundnut oil.
While groundnut oil is generally neutral in taste, cold-pressed varieties have a slightly nutty and sweet flavour that can add a unique dimension to your dishes. So, this festive season, switch things up and try using cold-pressed groundnut oil to take your cooking to the next level.
Groundnut oil is considered one of the healthiest vegetable oils. It is trans-fat-free, cholesterol-free, and low in saturated fats. Being a rich source of antioxidants, vitamin E and phytosterols, it benefits your heart’s health and checks your cholesterol. Its unique taste and aroma are especially loved in Indian cooking.
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Sesame oil is a staple in traditional South Indian cooking, used for seasoning curries, pickles, and even sweets. It’s said to balance out the heat from chillies, giving pickles a more rounded flavour, and said to have a long shelf life.
South Indian dishes like puli kulambu, vathal kulambu, and sambar are seasoned with sesame oil for a unique and delicious flavour. Puliyodharai, a rice dish made with tamarind and spices, is also elevated with the addition of sesame oil.
It’s also used in the preparation of Ladoo, a sweet ball made from besan and sugar. It can also be drizzled over Idli or Dosa for a deep, aromatic flavour.
So why not spice up your kitchen and give raw cold-pressed sesame oil a try? You’ll be transported to South India with every bite, and your taste buds will thank you for it!
Sesame is also known as the queen of oilseeds owing to its multi-utilitarian nature. It has culinary, cosmetic, and medicinal uses. Sesame oil, popularly known as til ka tel, helps lower cholesterol and inflammation in the body while reducing blood pressure. Rich in antioxidants, MUFA, and omega 6 PUFA, it benefits your hair, heart, skin, and joints. Due to its excellent antibacterial properties, it is considered an effective mouth rinse in Ayurvedic treatment.
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Picture this: you start the new year with pungent bites of new tastes and fresh food stories. Be a little adventurous this year and add a whole new world of flavour to your festive spread. Try tantalizing Punjabi-style instant raw mango pickle, scrumptious Litti Choka from Bihar, or Bengal’s favourite Aam Kasundi. Made in mustard oil, these specialities sing with flavour. That’s the magic of India’s ‘Golden Oil’, a.k.a. mustard oil.
Mostly used in the Northern, Central, & Eastern parts of India, mustard oil boasts a zesty and pungent taste that’s light on the stomach, making it a perfect addition to your favourite recipes. Unlike other spicy oils, mustard oil doesn’t linger on your palate, and it dissipates quickly, leaving behind no aftertaste. Whether you’re tempering, seasoning, or frying, mustard oil is the perfect ingredient to give your dishes that extra zing.
But that’s not all – the essential oil in mustard is a natural preservative that can inhibit the growth of bacteria, moulds, and certain yeasts. That’s why Kachi Gani is the go-to choice for making pickles and sauces that will last a long time.
This Ugadi, bring these dishes South and try something new for the new year.
Mustard oil or Kachi Ghani is a widely used oil. It possesses natural monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA), omega 3, and omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA). It’s known for controlling cholesterol, boosting heart health, and improving hair growth. Mustard oil adds piquancy to your food and is loaded with natural vitamin E. It also fights bacterial infections and acts as a fungus and insect repellent.
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This golden oil is a staple in Indian cooking, thanks to its mild flavour and high smoke point. Sunflower oil is perfect for all types of cooking, from sautéing and frying to baking and roasting. Its neutral flavour allows other ingredients to shine, making it a popular choice for dishes like dal, sabzi, and biryani.
Just like groundnut oil, sunflower oil with its high smoking point can be used to fry pakoras or samosas or drizzle over a salad for a healthy and flavorful dressing. It can also be used in sweet dishes like halwa, adding a rich flavour and smooth texture that’s hard to resist.
With its mild flavour, high smoke point, and numerous health benefits, cold-pressed sunflower oil is a must-have in any Indian kitchen. So go ahead and give it a try this festive season.
Enriched with vitamins, omega 6, and antioxidants, sunflower oil gives your food nutrition, along with a mild and pleasant flavour. It is the ideal and most preferred cooking oil for deep-frying and stir-frying due to its high smoking point. The oil is light on your stomach and is a staple in most households.
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