Venkat Raman I am the author of my life. Unfortunately, I am writing in pen and can’t erase my mistakes. My life is built on a series of choices that I’ve made. Being an author simply means you’re in charge of this present moment.

Which oil is best for Indian cooking?

5 min read

cooking oil

If you’re serious about COOKING OIL then you NEED to know about the major 3 types of oil processing methods.

But what are those?

Well, you’re in for a treat because I’ve put together a complete list.

Some are proven.

Some are controversial.

Others are nerd speculation.

But they’re all here.

And I mentioned which one is best in this entire list & where to buy (I tried it personally).

Let’s dive right in.

There are 3 popular methods of producing cooking oil in today’s India:

1. Solvent Based:–

Very cost-effective method to extract oil but contains toxic and fewer nutritions and no live enzymes at all. This method is used in major oil manufacturing companies.

2. Rotary Method:–

Extracting the oil seeds by pressing with heat (stone or machine).

In other words, high temperature is used to extract the oil that damages the micro-ingredients and fatty acids which leads to adulterating the properties of the cooking oil.

The very next step after the extraction process is a refining process. Obviously, refining involves a lot of procedures, refining tends to destroy the elements and the wholesomeness.

During the refining process, preservatives, chemicals and essence are added to keep the oil from going rancid so that the products will have a longer shelf life.

3. Cold Pressed Oil or Wood Pressed Oil:–

Cold pressed as the name implies which does not heat up the oil seeds. Of all these oils extraction methods, the cold pressed method is an organic way of oil extraction.

In other words, cold pressed oils are the most precious because of their method of making, nutritional value and healthy oriented benefits.

Cold pressed oils are extracted from seeds, fruits or vegetables, and even nuts.

Cold pressing is the method of oil extraction from oil seeds which may include sesame seed, sunflower seeds, canola, coconut or groundnut without really using heat to extract as that may degrade the oil’s flavor and nutritional quality on the process.

Cold pressing method is the process involving crushing seeds or nuts and forcing out the oil through pressure.

I have heard of blended oil (a mixture of multiple oils in the same plastic bottle container). But a few months ago, that was the first time I was hearing of cold pressed oils.

The packet claimed that it’s a cold pressed oil and then when I looked closely, it read refined. In another case, the photo on the oil bottle shows peanuts and it says peanut oil, and then in a small font in a corner, it says that it has sunflower oil too.

It’s all becoming utterly confusing and with newer oils slipping onto grocery shelves, how on earth does one decide what to pick up.

In India, a few decades ago, the oil you use in your kitchen is largely dependent on where you come from.

In Kerala, it’s coconut oil, In Tamilnadu, it’s groundnut oil, in Andhra and Rajasthan, it’s sesame oil, in the east and north they use mustard oil and in central India and Gujarat, it’s groundnut oil is used.

Different cultures eat differently and the type of oil fits beautifully into the food landscape of that region.

But?

All that changed in the 80’s with the scare of cholesterol and heart disease.

Overnight ghee got a bad name and we were told that we should avoid trans-fats and sunflower oil became popular. That was in the 90’s.

But today it’s an altogether different story. You have new types of oil spilling across the grocery shelves from around the world and each new bottle label brings with it a new health hope claiming cold pressed oil is best.

That’s what we used 1000 years ago by our ancestors.

IN recent study, many scientist and experts have pronounced cold pressed oils as a healthy alternative than normal refined cooking oils.

Cold Pressed Oils are known to be bad cholesterol free, are unrefined or unprocessed, do not contain harmful solvent residues like bleach and contain natural antioxidants that are beneficial for the human body.

So, let’s see about the benefits of cold pressed oil.

Benefits of Cold Pressed Oils:

The amazing benefit of cold pressed oil is that the oil does not heated. Hence the vitamins and minerals are retained.

The wooden pestle in the center revolves at a speed of 14 rotations per minute. This is to ensure that oil is not heated and no nutrients are lost.

  • The main advantage of cold pressed oil or chekku oil is that it has better nutritional benefits as the nutrients do not get destroyed by heat.
  • Cold pressed groundnut oil retains natural anti-oxidants like phytosterol and tocopherol.
  • Cold pressed sesame oil retains liganens, anti-oxidants and polyphenols which act as cholesterol lowering agents and prevents cholesterol.
  • Cold pressed coconut oil has medium fatty acids that are easily digestible and for people with liver problems, help in getting quick energy.
  • Cold pressed oils to retain all their flavor, aroma, and nutritional value, making these oils great for cooking and skin care requirements. They contain zero grams of trans fatty acids and are naturally cholesterol-free.
  • Cold pressed oils are cholesterol free.
  • Cold pressed oils are not refined, deodorized or processed in any way.
  • Cold pressed oils do not contain harmful solvent residues.
  • Cold Pressed Oils contain no added chemicals or preservatives.
  • Cold pressed oils contain natural antioxidants such as tocopherols (e.g. Vitamin E) and phosphatides (e.g. Lecithin).
  • The natural flavor and odor are retained, enhancing your favorite recipes.

Now, answering your question: Which oil is best for Indian cooking? in order.

1. Coconut oil (Cold Pressed):-

Coconut oil is full of saturated fat. Studies suggest that diets high in coconut oil do raise total blood cholesterol and LDL cholesterol.

Coconut oil also seems to raise HDL (good) cholesterol and it has the advantage that it behaves very well at high temperatures.

2. Sesame oil (Cold Pressed):-

Sesame oil is one great choice as it has a few restorative properties. Sesame oil is beneficial for diabetics and also brings down the circulatory strain.

It enhances oral cleanliness and dental well being of a person. It also counteracts atherosclerosis, malignancy and battles misery.

Sesame oil comes in two colors. The lighter one is used in India and the Middle East, and is pressed from untoasted seeds. It has a mild flavour and a high smoking point.

The darker variety has a distinct nutty aroma and taste and works very well in Asian food as a marinade or in stir fries.

Both types of oils are high in polyunsaturated fat but they should never be heated for too long.

Sesame oil also contains magnesium, copper, calcium, iron and vitamin B6.

3. Mustard oil (Cold Pressed):-

Mustard oil is a great oil substitute for traditional cooking oil options as it is often used as a stimulant to help digestion and circulation.

Due to its antibacterial properties, this oil can help protect the skin. Mustard oil also fights germs and virus, great to prevent cold, coughs and skin problems.

4. Groundnut oil (Cold Pressed)

Groundnut oil is extremely high in mono-unsaturated (MUFA) and polyunsaturated (PUFA), which help in lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.

Good source of vitamin E, which is known to act as an antioxidant by protecting the skin from acne or scars.

Groundnut oil also known as peanut oil is got a good combination of fats, and has the good monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and is low in bad saturated fats.

It’s a good all-purpose oil for cooking and I think it works particularly well for Indian foods that are prepared in the wok.

5. Cow Ghee

Cow Ghee is one of the best and healthy options available for cooking in India. It is better than butter as Ghee is great for digestion, improves the functioning of the brain and also helps in weight loss when accompanied by exercise.

Ghee is said to improve memory, build up bone strength and energy level of a person.

Where to buy these cold pressed oils?

Now, you know that turning refined oil into cold pressed oil is a HUGE game changer.

But, where to buy?

I was referred by one of my best friend to try cold pressed oil from “Standard Cold Pressed Oil” who sells

First, I want to buy some trial packs initially through their website https://www.standardcoldpressedoil.com

Really, I thought how they are going to pack oil and deliver because oil may get spilled in the carton box and since it is a daily use, unlike electronic goods. Initially, I am little hope and order from them.

Received in 2 days. After a long time, I felt the smell of real groundnut oil and experience the same while my wife’s cooking. The kitchen is full of groundnut smell and food taste also changed but improved taste.

You can try the cooking oils from them and let me know your comments. Thanks.

Venkat Raman I am the author of my life. Unfortunately, I am writing in pen and can’t erase my mistakes. My life is built on a series of choices that I’ve made. Being an author simply means you’re in charge of this present moment.

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