How Olive Oil Effective For Indian Cooking

By Subodh / June 27, 2015

Indian households are now buzzing with the ‘olive oil’ chants, with more and more people switching to this medium of cooking. Olive oil is packed with the good monounsaturated fats and is also the treasure trove of a wide array of other nutrients beneficial for your health. According to reputed Indian chefs, witching to olive oil for cooking will enhance the wellness quotient of a family.

Indian nutritionists and celebrity chefs suggest that people have a mental block about using olive oil, given its distinct flavor. People feel that using this cooking oil might hamper with the authenticity of the flavors of Indian cooking. This is one of the reasons why people opt for the neutral-flavored olive pomace oil, which belongs to a lower grade.

Olive Oil

Since there is a major confusion prevailing, it is always better to understand about olive oil in detail. So scroll down and read on to know more about the various types of olive oil and which variant you can try to cook Indian delicacies.

Various Types of Olive Oils

There are four major variants of olive oil available in the market – the extra virgin olive oil, virgin olive oil, pure olive oil, and olive pomace oil.

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: This oil is the purest among the three variants and is cold pressed within less than 24 hours of plucking the olives. The oil is free from all kinds of synthetic chemicals and solvents. This olive oil variant is packed generously with healthy nutrients, making it the costliest grade available. It also has very negligible levels of acidity.
  • Virgin Olive Oil: Even though this olive oil variant is also the product of cold pressed fresh olives and is unrefined, it is slightly milder in taste when compared to the Extra Virgin variant.
  • Pure Olive Oil: The acidity levels of this variant is akin to that of the Virgin variant, but is less expensive than the aforementioned variant due to the lesser nutrient value.
  • Olive Pomace Oil: This variant is the lowest grade variant. Pomace is the leftover portion of the olives after oil and water are extracted. Ideally seen, this variant is non-palatable. So the olive oil manufacturers blend it with the Virgin variant, making it resistant to high heats.

Olive Oil For Indian Cooking

Indian cooking involves lots of high heat cooking and deep frying. Even though extra virgin olive oil is the best recommended for cooking, its low smoking point as against the refined oils is drawback. Yet chefs across the globe use it for cooking under high heat due to its benefits. The Extra Virgin variant, being resistant to degradation due to high heat, can be used effortlessly for your stir-fries and sautés.

However, Olive pomace oil is the most frequently recommended variant for Indian cooking as it is gels perfectly with all types of cooking – roasting, frying, and sautéing, without upsetting the tastes and flavors.

What Are The Benefits of Using Olive Pomance Oil For Cooking?

Here are some really interesting reasons for choosing this olive oil variant to cook Indian delicacies:

  1. Foods that are deep-fried between 130 degree Celsius and 190 degree Celsius in this oil gives a deep golden, crispy crust that makes the food more appetizing. There is no compromise made to the nutritional value also.
  2. Unlike other cooking oils, olive pomace oil does not penetrate deeply into the fried items making the delicacies healthier, lighter, and digestible.
  3. The oil starts breaking down only if the temperature exceeds 190 degree Celsius.

Even though olive pomace oil has these benefits for Indian cooking, various studies suggest that this variant might not be good for your health as it lacks nutrients since it is prepared from the residue. So exercise a little caution while using this form of olive oil!

Olive oil is definitely an expensive choice when compared to other traditional cooking oils. However, if you compare the goodness, then olive oil is, unarguably, the best bet. You can use the same batch of olive oil three or four times by filtering after each use. If you are using 3 tbsp of your regular cooking oil, then you will require only 1 tbsp of olive oil. If you take a closer look at these two points, it points out to the interesting fact that olive oil actually cost efficient.

So start using olive oil in your Indian cooking and reap its goodness!