When we talk of oils we usually think of deep-fried French fries, potato patties, and doughnuts when we travel south Asia we may think of wontons, and fried drumsticks of meat and if we further travel towards India we may think of onion fritters, potato fritters, leavened bread fried in hot oil, etc. But what is the reason behind the extensive use of oil all over the world and in the kitchens of various cuisines why is it that we find oil an indispensable part of our daily lives? Let us understand the reasons behind the wide usage of oil in general


Reasons behind the wide usage of oil in the Kitchen 

1, Oil adds a certain amount of richness to the food – Let us understand this using an example when we boil potatoes and when we deep fry them in hot oil which one is more preferred by people, the latter of course the reason because deep frying dissolves the outer layers of the substances and retains the vitamin, nutrient and the real intrinsic worth of the substance.

  1. Oil prevents drying up of the vegetables and the meat: When a substance is deep fried in hot oil or fried in oil the substance tends to retain a lot of moisture on its outer surface hence the drying up of the food is not something that can be expected, the oil having a more dense and compact composition than that of water and hence the oil tends to hold onto the surface for a longer time and thus prevent leaving the same.
  2. Oil adds sheen to the dish that is prepared – The head chef at a very popular chef at one of the top Indian Restaurant in Sydney explains “If we all keenly notice the top surface of dishes that are being prepared we may see that the dishes that have been prepared in oil have an additional sheen that is very clearly visible on the surface”.
  3. Oil is used as a preservative in Indian kitchens and around: When we talk about the methods of preservation then one thing that naturally comes to our mind is the method of pickling, pickling is an Indian conventional way of naturally marinating vegetables and meat in layers of spices and then submerging them in a medium of oil. A popular Indian restaurant that has been serving pickles along with Indian food in Sydney suggests that serving traditionally made pickles made in sea salt contain a lot of friendly bacteria that actually aid in digestion and thus soothe the gut lining having slightly astringent properties.


Therapeutic properties of Oil used in Indian Cuisine 

  1. When we travel towards the east, we will often find mustard oil being used as a cooking medium the reason being mustard oil has the property to destroy the microorganism present in seafood that is predominantly a staple food of East India.
  2. Coconut oil is also used in south Indian cuisine the reason being coconut oil tends to lubricate the walls of the intestine making the movement of food easier through the digestive system.