Different types of oils used in Indian cooking

In this article we will learn about different types of cooking oils available in market. We will find out which oil is healthy for us, what its benefits are and what precautions one should take while using particular oil for cooking. We will also know about the correct way of using our cooking oils.

Olive oil

Olive oil is very popular around the world due to its heart friendly properties. It not only increases the nutrition in our diet but also prevent some fatal diseases like cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

  • Olive oil is good source of Monosaturated fats.
  • It contains chemicals that decreases cholesterol
  • It contains a lot of antioxidants.
  • The storage life of olive oil is more as compared to other oils.
  • It can also be freezed and later brought to room temperature for usage.

  • Precautions / Disadvantages
  • Olive oil has a very strong flavour so it cannot be used in all kinds of recipes.
  • If you are very calorie conscious then this oil is not for you. It contains a lot of calories.
  • If it is heated excessively ,its flavour changes. Therefore, one cannot use this oil in recipes that need to be cooked on a very high flame.
  • On high heat, it produces some elements that can be harmful for the body.

  • Right method of using Olive oil
  • Though olive oil is used in cooking, its complete benefits can be obtained when used raw. It is better to use olive oil in dressing the salad or dips.
  • Whenever used for cooking, the flame should be kept low.
  • For cooking pure olive oil should be used instead of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Extra virgin olive oil should be used for uncooked items
  • As it has a strong flavour, it can be used in recipes than contain warm or cold sauces. It can also be used in marinades.

  • Soya bean oil

    It is a vegetable oil that is derived from soybeans.

  • It is rich in Omega 3
  • It is a very good source of vitamin E
  • It is also rich in Poly unsaturated fatty acids.

  • Precautions / Disadvantages
  • Researches show that when Soya bean oil is used for deep frying, it forms toxins which is bad for health
  • If cooking is done in soybean oil then the flame should be kept low as in the case of olive oil.
  • It can be used for shallow frying of vegetables or meat.
  • It can be used in Asian cooking where lots of spices are present in food.
  • It is not a good option for dressing salads.

  • Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil is derived from the seeds of Sunflower.

  • It is the most popular oil amongst the chefs as it is very light in nature.
  • It can be used for deep frying and on high flame
  • It is rich in vitamin E
  • It prevents many infectious diseases as well as cancer

  • Precautions / Disadvantages
  • It has a very high calorie content.
  • No other nutritious element is present in a remarkable amount other than vitamin K and vitamin E.

  • Canola Oil

    This is recommended by the nutritionists and physicians because it is helpful in preventing heart diseases.

    BenefitsIt has very less saturated fat.
  • It is full of mono saturated fats that is good for health
  • It is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids which again is beneficial for health
  • As compared to other oils, it has the most appropriate and healthy composition of fatty acids.

  • Precautions / Disadvantages
  • Canola oil is not very rich in flavour. Those who need that extra flavour in food should not consider this because it has a very light and mild flavour.
  • Shelf life of this oil is very small. It means that it can turn bad in a small period of time.

  • Coconut oil

    Derived from coconuts, this is the most famous oil in Kerala.

  • Researches show that coconut oil improves digestion and make our immune system strong.
  • It is also very good for skin as it has anti-aging contents in it.

  • Precautions / Disadvantages
  • It can increase the cholesterol level in blood a lot as it is rich in Saturated fats.
  • There are two types of cholesterol in body: good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. Coconut can increase the level of bad cholesterol

  • Mustard oil

    This oil is one of the most famous oils in Indian kitchen. It is obtained from mustard seeds.

  • It is rich in Omega 3
  • It acts like an antiseptic for the body
  • It is capable of preventing throat problems, Asthma, Bronchitis and Pneumonia etc.
  • Due to its strong flavour, it forms acids that aid in digestion thus increasing appetite.

  • Precautions / Disadvantages
  • It is rich in uric acid which is bad for health
  • It is necessary to heat this oil sufficiently for cooking but when it becomes very hot, Omega 3 present in it decreases. Thus, it's nutritional value decreases

  • Storage of oils

    Oils should be stored I dark and dry places. Oil that contains monounsaturated fats can be stored up to to 1 year time. Refined olive oil has a shelf life of about 2 years. However, most of the oils have a shelf life of 6-7 months. It is very important to check the expiry date of the oil while purchasing it. Oil which has expired should never be used for any type of cooking or dressing. If oil is left after use as in case of deep frying, it should not be mixed with the remaining fresh oil. The left over oil should be sieved through a cloth and stored in separate container.


    Guest Author: vandana16 Jun 2013

    This is a very good article and this must be read by every house hold who are using cooking oil in their daily food preparations. Normally we have seen in olden days people have been extensively using the groundnut oil as the cooking oil medium for preparing food, sweets and even hot items. But due to high presence of cholesterol the usage of groundnut oil has drastically reduced and instead sun flower oil is widely used. Even vegetable and rice bran oil are also used for cooking and this must be noted by households.

  • Do not include your name, "with regards" etc in the comment. Write detailed comment, relevant to the topic.
  • No HTML formatting and links to other web sites are allowed.
  • This is a strictly moderated site. Absolutely no spam allowed.
  • Name: