Any Indian recipe is incomplete without adding oil to it. There are many edible oils available which is  used for cooking. Indian cooking uses many methods to prepare its recipes such as sauting, frying, stir frying, roasting and tampering which all depends on the usage of oil. Each recipe enhances its taste by the oil used to prepare it.

Oil is not only a basic ingredient it is a part of a healthy diet. Oil is categorized as healthy and unhealthy by the fat content it has. Mono unsaturated fats and poly unsaturated fats are considered to be healthy while the saturated fats are considered to be unhealthy but not all the saturated fats are unhealthy for instance coconut oil has saturated fats but when compared with the other health benefits it has it is one of the best oil which is suggested for cooking especially for deep frying as it stays stable in high temperatures.

Another important thing to check before choosing oil is the smoke point it has. Smoke point of an oil is the point when it begins to release smoke when heated. Fatty acids or free radicals in the oil breaks down if an oil reaches its smoke point. Oils with lower smoking points get burnt easily when heated hence their taste and flavour may differ. Oils with lower smoking points get burnt easily when heated hence their taste and flavour may differ. Higher the smoke point so higher the chance of being healthy. So its better to choose oils with higher smoking point especially when you are frying. 

Nowadays considering the health benefits many have started to use cold pressed oils as it does not undergo any chemical process. Cold press method is considered to be the best method for extracting oil to retain its flavour and nutritional value to the maximum extent. But the shelf life of these oils are lesser. And also the smoke point of these oils less when compared with refined oils.

Oils that are factory processed are mostly extracted from the seeds by chemical solvents and undergo high heating process. They are further bleached chemically to purify or refine the oil. The smoke point of the oil obviously increases through this chemical process. Hence the refined oils have high smoke point when compared with cold pressed oils. And usually the oils are refined to make it as colourless, odourless or remove any bitter type of flavour it has. These oils have higher shelf life and helps us to preserve or use it for a longer period of time.


usage of oil in different parts of the county is different. It mainly depends upon the plant that are cultivated in that region that can be used to extract oil. And the recipes they were used to. Mustard oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, groundnut or peanut oil, sunflower oil, rice bran oil, olive oil or vegetable oils, ghee and butter are the popular variety of oils used.

Here are some of the commonly used oils given with their smoke points and the purpose which we can use ideally for.


300-350°F (149-175°C)

Saute, quick pan-fry, baking, roasting

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

325-410°F (163-210°C)

Saute, finishing oil, dressings, marinades, baking

Coconut Oil

350-385°F (175-196°C)

Saute, pan-fry, baking, roasting

Vegetable Oil

400-450°F (204-230°C)

Searing, saute, pan-fry, stir-fry, baking, roasting, grilling, deep-frying

Light/Refined Olive Oil

425-465°F (218-241°C)

Saute, pan-fry, grilling, baking, roasting

Sesame Oil

350-410°F (175-210°C)

Saute, small amount for stir-frying

Sunflower Oil

440°F (230°C)

Searing, saute, pan-fry, baking, roasting, grilling, deep-frying


510°F (265°C)

Searing, saute, pan-fry, baking, roasting, grilling, deep-frying

Peanut Oil

440-450°F (227-230°C)

Searing, saute, pan-fry, stir-fry, baking, roasting, grilling, deep-frying

Clarified        Butter

450°F (230°C)

Saute, pan-fry, baking, roasting

  Every recipe needs a specified flavour or sometimes a flavourless oil to turnout as a delicious dish. So it is always better to choose the oil you cook according to the dish you prepare and by the way you prepare so that the nutrients in the oil is retained.

No particular oil contain all the nutrients you need. Every oil has particular nutrients that are good for the health. Do not stick to a particular type of oil or particular brand. It is always good to follow rotation of all oils in the food we cook. So use different types of oil to absorb all good nutrients. Not only the quality, the quantity of the oil we intake also counts. It is said a person needs four spoon of oil per day to stay healthy.