Best Olive Oil for Indian Cooking

Over the years, I have seen many people getting confused about different types of olive oils available in grocery stores.

Since it is considered as a healthy alternative to regular edible oils, they just buy something that may be selling at low or discounted price. I don’t think this is the right way to select olive oil for cooking.

You will need to understand certain aspects of this oil to get the best out of it.

In this post, I’ll try to simplify all the confusion over this topic of using olive oil for Indian cooking. It will surely help you in your next purchase.

So, let’s begin!

Types of Olive Oil

For those who don’t know, there are four major types of olive oils available for consumption. You may also find more varieties in your grocery stores, but let’s stick to these important types for now.

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Virgin Olive Oil
  • Pure Olive Oil
  • Olive Pomace Oil

All these oils are different from each other, as the techniques involved in their extraction process are quite distinct in characteristics. Hence, you should select them accordingly.

What’s the best olive oil for Indian cooking?

Well, the answer is simple! You can use all types of olive oils in Indian cooking, but please read the following points carefully before dancing with joy.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

It is a superior grade olive oil and contains very less acidity i.e. around 0.8%. Due to its unique extraction process, it retains the fruity taste in the final product. Of course, you will also see slightly dark color to it as compared to other varieties.

Usage in cooking: Salad Dressings, Meat dressings & marinations, Chutneys or Dips etc.; use it as a condiment.

Note – Although it can be used for daily cooking, it will lose its flavor and aroma quickly. So, there is no point in purchasing extra virgin oil, if you’re going to cook food at the relatively high heat.

For maximum health benefits, you should try to avoid heating up this oil.

Virgin Olive Oil

It is extracted with a similar process but contains a higher level of Oleic acid i.e. around 1.5-2%. However, it still possesses mild fruit-like taste. As far as color is concerned, it’s fainter in its shade.

Usage in cooking: Stir-frying, Sauté-ing, Baking, etc.

Note – Even though you can use this oil for Indian cooking methods, don’t use it to cook at high temperature. Like the extra virgin, it will also start losing beneficial properties in such heat.

Pure Olive Oil

It’s generally a low-quality oil in this category, as it undergoes refining process along with the inclusion of several other ingredients. This industrial process makes the oil lose almost all its properties including taste, flavor, color, and aroma. Some producers blend this oil with Virgin Olive Oil to bring back some of the lost elements.

Usage in cooking: All purpose oil; can be used for most of the preparation methods.

Note – If you want to taste some characteristics of olive oil, don’t use it for deep frying. Also, don’t put it in salad dressings. It won’t serve the purpose!

Olive Pomace Oil

Finally, Pomace is the lowest level of olive oil available in the markets today. It is extracted from the residue of “Pure Olive Oil” extraction process.

In order to maintain some essential properties, manufacturers often blend it with superior Pure Olive Oil.

Usage in cooking: All purpose oil; mostly used for deep frying.

Note – For deep frying dishes, I’d recommend other vegetable refined oils over Pomace oil. You can use refined sunflower or peanut oils for the same.

How to store your Olive Oil?

Now that you’ve learned about selecting the best olive oil for cooking, let’s find out more about its storage techniques.

Glass Bottle vs. Plastic Bottle

Whenever it’s possible, try to purchase olive oil in dark glass bottle. It shields the oil from harmful sunlight.

As observed, the olive oil kept in dark glass bottles tends to last longer and gives you more value to your expenses.

Temperature & Surroundings

You should store the bottle in any dark area of your kitchen. It will help prevent direct sunlight to the oil, which helps in maintaining ideal shelf life.

It should be preserved at relatively cool temperature.

Durability

There is always a possibility that these oils might lose their beneficial properties after some time. So, it’s always recommended to purchase it in a small quantity of 1-2 liter bottles.

Please check the manufacturing date and use it fresh as much as you can.

Best Olive Oil Brands in India

These are some of the best brands for your olive oil adventures –

  • Colavita
  • Borges
  • Bertolli
  • Fragata
  • Rafael Salgado
  • Olivio
  • Dolce Vita

Conclusion

To summarize, olive oil comes under the category of gourmet foods. You pay extra bucks for its premium qualities.

So, if you want the best quality, there is no other option than to shell out some extra bucks for it. This is what I’ve learned and experienced in the food world. And therefore, it’s wise to use this oil for health purpose only.

I hope I’ve resolved your doubts regarding the topic of olive oil for Indian cooking. If you still have any queries, please comment below. I’d be happy to answer them.

Onion Curry Recipe

In most of the Indian curries, we use onions as an important base ingredient for flavor and taste. But have you thought of using them as a main ingredient for the vegetable dish?

For those who don’t know, you can surely make use of onions to prepare the Onion Curry.

If you’re bored with other vegetables, I think you must try out this curry recipe. It’s a great alternative to our Indian veg. curries.

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White Pulao Recipe

Whenever there is a rice or oil related commercial on TV, you’ll notice that they often display White Pulao along with several other dishes.

Well, the color combination of rice and vegetables looks so fresh and beautiful that you just can’t resist the temptation. You gotta have this Pulao in such advertisements. It’s almost a norm in ads world these days!

Coming back to the kitchen, White Pulao or sometimes known as Plain Pulao is a completely vegetarian dish. However, you may also prepare it with Non-Veg. food items as per your taste.

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Shevayachi Kheer Recipe

Shevayachi Kheer is a very simple and easy to make Maharashtrian/Goan delicacy. It’s generally made with the combination of Vermicelli noodles and full-fat milk.

It is also known as Sheer Khurma, Seviya Kheer, Dudh Shemai and Semiya Payasam in different languages and regions of India.

For those who don’t know, Shevayachi Kheer roughly translates to Kheer made of Shevaya i.e. Vermicelli.

In most Hindu communities, it’s prepared as Prasad/Prasadam during auspicious festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi, Navratri and Vrat fasts. Muslim communities also savor Sheer Khurma during the holy month of Ramadan and Eid celebrations. It’s truly a symbol of unity in our diverse culture.

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Kadhi Chawal Recipe

Punjabi food culture is known for its spicy curries in all over the world. Nowadays, you won’t find many Indian restaurants serving authentic regional food without Punjabi touch.

That’s how this culture has influenced our traditional food in the modern era!

Having said that, Punjabi people don’t actually eat such food all the time. They also enjoy less spicy food in their daily lives.

And one such delicacy is Kadhi Chawal!

This combination of Kadhi (an Indian term for curry; not to be confused with vegetable curries) and Chawal (steamed rice) has been a great alternative to Dal Chawal, Sambar & Rice and similar dishes prepared in other parts of India.

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Karela Fry Recipe

Bitter Gourd (Karela) is one of those veggies that make people turn their heads away. This is also an important reason why you won’t see it on most of Indian restaurants’ menu.

There are some Karela recipes, though, that you can try and enjoy at your home, but I don’t think it’s possible to prepare them on regular basis.

For instance, Bharwan Karela takes a lot of time and requires unhealthy ingredients to reduce the bitterness.

So today, I’m going to share a simple and easy to make Karela Fry recipe.

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Best Vegetable Chopper in India

Do I even need a vegetable chopper in my kitchen?

I’m sure you must have asked the above question to yourself on numerous occasions.

Well, it can be a very useful kitchen tool, especially if you’re not well-versed with knife skills. It also helps in saving your time during busy kitchen hours.

Many professional chefs use such tools to get perfect results each time. Otherwise, it’d be difficult to replicate same shapes, patterns and designs for large scale preparations.

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Malvani Fish Curry Recipe

When you’re travelling from Mumbai-Goa highway, there is one thing you should definitely try out for lunch or dinner i.e. Malvani Fish Curry.

You will find several restaurants serving this delicious curry with different varieties of fish found in local sea water.

If you don’t like restaurant food, you can simply halt at someone’s place to enjoy this non-vegetarian curry dish. The residents of this region know how to cook the perfect Malvani curry, and you’ll never be disappointed by their fresh fish preparations.

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Awale ka Murabba Recipe

Awale ka Murabba is a typical Indian dish that comes under the category of preservable foods. Usually, it is enjoyed with Thali dishes in lunch, but you can also serve with simple Roti or Chapati.

For those who don’t know, Awala is known as Amla in many parts of this country. It is also called as Indian Gooseberry in Asian markets across the world.

If you want to make Amla Murabba at home, get ripened Gooseberries from the market. These berries will have slightly less sour taste, which will help you reduce sugar quantity in the recipe.

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How to make Tandoori Roti in Electric Tandoor

Tandoori food has a long history in India’s traditional cuisines, and it goes well beyond thousands of years in the past.

Although it would be difficult to say who brought this technique in our food culture, Mughals did play a vital role in transforming Indian food. Kebabs, Tikkas and Rotis would have been very difficult to make without the proper use of Tandoor pots.

I could be wrong in these assumptions, but it’s quite fascinating to imagine the evolution of our cooking methods in past centuries.

In today’s era, we’re still innovating these methods with new tools like Airfryers, Electric Tandoors, Gas Tandoors, Ovens, etc. And I’m sure this food evolution will continue to take place even after next thousand years.

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