The sight of a kadhai full of oil at any place tingles salivary glands as everyone loves fried foods like pakode, bhajias, samosa, poori, kachori, etc. We Indians relish fried foods and there is no festivity without poori-kachori-samosa-Gulab Jamun. I am sure as you are reading this, you are also looking for a restaurant serving this tasty food on your zomato or swiggy app. Such is the attraction of fried foods. :)

In my maternal home, kadhai with oil for frying was a permanent feature in the kitchen. Taking poori - alu in tiffin was preferred over roti or parantha. Fried snacks like bread pakoras or vegetable pakoras, and even samosa were made at home. All four of us were fans of fried food. 😋 Aloo-poori/kachori with traditional accompaniments was the most favoured meal for us. 

Unlike today's times, there was no fear of gaining weight. My evenings were spent playing basketball or hockey or even kho kho. I have mentioned in a few earlier posts that I have spent my growing years on a university campus and we have well-trained coaches and infrastructure at our disposal. Summers evenings were spent in swimming pools. Those were the days! 

There were not many varieties of oil to choose from. Groundnut oil, mustard oil, vanaspati ghee, and desi ghee were the popular cooking mediums available in those days when the economy was not open. It was much later after the economy was opened in nineties when we Indians were exposed to the world. 

One must select the cooking medium according to the cooking style. The popular cooking mediums in India are mustard oil in east and north-east, coconut oil in southern India and groundnut oil in western India while North Indians love to cook in desi ghee. Go for locally produced oils. This is the best way to strengthen the local economy and decrease carbon footprints. 

Thanks to our own celebrity nutritionists like Rajuta Diwekar and alike, our local oils are gaining popularity. Her common refrain is - Use what your grandmother used. That is the best medium for cooking tasty and healthy meals. 

Our Indian cooking is a mix of a number of cooking styles like shallow-frying, deep-fry, sauting, or our famous Indian tadka, which are high-temperature cooking, we should opt for oils with a high smoking point. All Indian oils have high smoking points, be it canola, cottonseed, groundnut, sunflower, mustard or rice bran. But not olive oil. It has a low smoking point and should not be used in Indian cooking. It turns toxic at high temperatures. You may use olive oil in Italian or continental dishes, which do not need high heating. Or use it as a dressing in salads. 
In recent years, oil has been projected as a demon in cooking. Goodness and evil exist together. So is the case with oil. It has saturated fats which increase blood cholesterol and is very high in calories. It provides essential fatty acids for hormone production. It helps in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins - A, D, E, and K. It also improves the taste and texture of food. 

In recent years, consumers is spoilt for choices and there is so much 
knowledge on various resources. I am sifting some useful knowledge to help you select the kind of oil in accordance with your cooking style. 

So, we have come to the conclusion to use locally produced oil. If you have ever read the label on the oil, you might be familiar with terms like refined oil, filtered oil or cold-pressed oil. these are the process of oil extraction.  The method of oil exploration makes all the difference in taste. 
Let us explore the difference between these three. 

Coldpressed oil

Oil is extracted by pressing seeds. Kachi Ghani mustard oil is the most common label on mustard oil. This regional phrase shows the oil extracted by Ghani cold press. In this process, no chemicals or heat are used in extraction. This is the reason, cold-pressed oils retain their natural taste, nutrients, aroma and flavour.  They are rich in essential fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamin E,  K, and C, and other healthy fats.  The cold press oil thus fights free radicals, and has anti-inflammatory and healing properties. They also boost the immune system. So overall, a good bargain. It is advisable not to heat them to a very high temperature as they will lose nutrition. Since these cold-pressed oils are minimally processed, their shelf life is short as compared to more processed oils.

You can buy cold-pressed oils here

Filter Oil -

These are filtered through strainers and other equipment to remove bigger particles and any other contamination. But no chemicals are used. They are dark, cloudy and have a typical smell of the seed. This is better than refined oil. 

Buy filter oil here.

Refined Oil - 

The oil is further treated with chemicals to rid it of odour, and impurities and make it clear. Most of the oil in the market is refined oil. This process increases the yield and hence is available at the lowest price as compared to filtered and cold-pressed. 
Soyabean oil, rapeseed oil, and sunflower oil are extracted through chemical processes and need to be refined to remove chemicals. the chemical process destroys the nutrition and changes the molecular structure too. 
If we talk about health-meter, this is at the lowest rank. 

You can buy refined oil here.

I hope from now onwards you will check the label of the oil and choose the healthy oil as per your needs.

I am participating in #BlogchatterA2Z . My other posts on the challenge are here.

The post has affiliate links. If you buy from the link, you will not be paying anything extra. This blog will earn a small affiliate fee. 


  1. Love this article! Useful and informative. looking forward to see more like this. Also check this out therapeutic grade essential oils online store in USA. Thank you.


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