Indian cooking is remarkably different from other culinary styles from around the world. It requires higher levels of heating – and it requires multiple stages of cooking, involving prolonged heating over a longer period of time. This is clearly visible in traditional cuisines like Awadhi and Wazwan dishes which have elaborate recipes with cooking processes spanning several hours.
Typically, Indian cookery requires temperatures ranging from 180o to 190o C. The oil used for cooking must, therefore, have a high smoking point. Cold-pressed Mustard Oil with a smoking point of 250o C is ideal for Indian cooking. On the contrary, a cooking medium like extra virgin olive oil with a low smoking point of 190o C is highly unsuitable for Indian cooking. It is great for Mediterranean cuisines, but not for Indian food. It is important to keep in mind that when any oil is heated beyond its smoking point, it degrades. Unhealthy processes like hydrolysis and oxidation are triggered and various toxic and carcinogenic compounds are produced.
An innately Indian cooking medium like Mustard Oil is naturally suited for Indian cooking because it has been tried and tested across thousands of years. Chefs and food experts tell us that Mustard Oil can be used for pretty much any kind of Indian cooking as well as deep-frying. This oil contains a vast array of healthy nutrients like natural Vitamin E, Omega-3 Fatty Acids and AITC – all these nutrients remain intact even at high temperatures. Likewise, the nutrients in your food, too, are preserved when you cook it in Mustard Oil.
If you are making Mediterranean or other world cuisines, then olive oil and other international oils may be fine – but when it comes to authentic Indian cooking, the safest and healthiest option would be to choose something that is made in India and made for India: a cooking medium like cold-pressed Mustard Oil.