Nov 5, 2012

Different Oils in my kitchen

I use a wide spectrum of oils in my kitchen. While it has become popular to use olive oil in all aspects of Indian Cooking nowadays, I believe that this is not always good. Pairing the right kind of oil to right heat requirement is key to healthy cooking.
Some oils have a low smoking point while some others have a high smoking point. Using a high smoking point oil in a salad is not healthy. Similarly, low smoking point oils will cause carcinogens in your food, if you use it in a high heat cooking.
  1. Low smoking point oil: Oils like Gingelly oil and extra virgin olive oil are suitable for low or no heat recipes like salad dressings, idli spice (இட்லி மிளகாய் பொடி ) or finishing a recipe. Some recipes like Lemon rice, tamarind rice etc. taste better topped with a little oil. Use these oils in this scenario.
  2. Medium smoking point oil: Oils like plain olive oil are suitable for medium heat activities like sauteing.
  3. High smoking point oil: I use canola oil or sesame seed oil for high heat like deep frying, stir frying etc.
Respecting this guideline to match oil to usage helps you avoid increased carcinogens in your diets. Carcinogens are cancer causing oxidants in your diet and the lesser the better!

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