Whether for cooking, or for dressing, we list out the perfect oils for your everyday cooking need, keeping in mind their intrinsic properties that change when heated.
- Sunflower oil: The most commonly used oil for cooking in the South-Asian countries, it is relatively cheaper than the others in the market. Usage includes high-heat frying, searing or browning. Sunflower oil, rich in vitamin E and polyunsaturates (helps in reducing cholestrol level), can be used as a replacement oil in any of your recipes. The only cuisine you cannot use this oil with, is Italian. The flip side of using this oil is the formation of trans-fat, which happens when reheated more than a few times and consumed.
- Olive oil: Bored of health-conscious food? Not to worry. Try cooking with olive oil, as the oil carries the flavour of spices, leaves a savoury taste in the mouth and satisfies the appetite. Though olive oils stand upto heat remarkably well, they make the uncooked dishes taste the best. It can be used in marinades or sauces for meat, fish, poultry or vegetables as it penetrates well into the layers. It can be used in a moderate quantity, while preparing a dip for bread, as it is healthier than butter.
- Mustard oil – This oil is widely used for cooking in northern and eastern parts of India, Nepal, Bangladesh and other parts of South-Asia. The pungent smell comes from the large percentage of mustard seed present in the oil. A major ingredient of pickles, mustard oil is used to give a yellowish tinge to the dish. Vegetable, meat or poultry cooking requires mustard oil while being cooked, as it contains very small percentage of fat.
- Margarine: While cooking, solid margarine is not really the best choice for you. Since it is not a natural product (made by adding hydrogen to vegetable oil), it has elements which create a high risk of coronary diseases. Generally considered better than butter, it can be used as a spread while having bread or in any uncooked form. It is recommended that you use soft margarine (tub or liquid) over harder stick forms. Margarine replaces butter for people who prefer a vegan diet.