There’s no denying the temptation of an aloo ka paratha at a roadside dhaba on the highway. Or the longing for a samosa and jalebi on a rainy, winter evening.
At the same time, the cooking medium used for these leaves a lot to be desired. It is also now generally believed that organic oils and cooking mediums are a better health option than the refined oils and commercially produced ghee available widely.
Let’s say, you accept the fact (maybe grudgingly), that the cumulative accumulation of unhealthy fats in your body over the years, of giving in to the temptations of deep-fried bread rolls and pakodas is going to wreak havoc on your health.
Great, you are all set to make the switch. You will shift, from ordering from your favourite halwai to cooking at home in an organic cooking medium. Sure, the first batch of your malai koftas might not turn out to be a culinary masterpiece, but you’ll get there eventually. Maybe, one day, you might even start a cloud kitchen of your homemade-organic oil-cooked stuff, you fantasize.
Now, before you run away with your imagination, the most pertinent question is, which oil or ghee? And then, where to source it from? How can you be sure of the quality or its authenticity?
Worry not. We hope to address some of your concerns here.
When it comes to which oil, the choice is rather personal. It’s generally thought that Indian sesame oil, groundnut oil and coconut oil go well with South Indian cooking and Goan cuisines. Mustard oil is used for achaars in the North of the country and majority of the cooking in the Eastern part of the country. But with the new wave of experimentation with global and fusion foods, hey, anything’s possible.
So let’s look at some of the options.
We start with India’s favourite cooking option – organic ghee. Now, there are a number of options available, but we will stick to what we have tried and can vouch for. The first one on the list is an artisanal producer who goes by the name of Orrina. The folks at Orrina have done an in-depth research on various breeds of desi cows, organic farming and panchagavya. Their aim is not only to provide you with healthy organic oils, but also to preserve the knowledge of panchagavya and protect the desi breeds of cows. And the variety of oils and ghees they’ve created is mind-boggling. Ajwa seeds and dates A2 ghee, Apamarga ghee, Arjuna ghee, Ashwagandha ghee, Brahmi ghee, Forest Amla and Giloy Amla ghee, hand-churned Vedic ghee, turmeric ghee, Kalmegh ghee, moringa ghee, kishmish ghee, Spirulina ghee, triphala ghee, Vasa ghee, … the list goes on. Each is a superfood, loaded with health benefits and will lend a unique taste and flavour to your dishes.
Then there’s Health Pro Oils. As the name suggests, they take themselves very seriously. They have a range of wood-pressed/ cold-pressed/ kachi-ghani edible oils. They aim to revive the flavours of ancient India. All their oils are 100% chemical-free and are made of ingredients that are rich and are produced in fertile soil. Cold pressed coconut oil, cold pressed groundnut oil, cold pressed kachi ghani groundnut and mustard oils and cold pressed sesame oil. We have tried each and can vouch for their health benefits. And the flavours are awesome.
Praakritik is a homegrown brand that supports many farmers and gaushalas to bring clean, natural and organic produce to consumers. They have natural, desi gir cow A2 ghee, organic cold pressed coconut, sesame, peanut, and flaxseed and sunflower oils. If you believe that healthy eating is really not an option, we suggest you give these oils from Praakritik a try once. We promise you’ll keep coming back for more.
SROT is a brand started by a ‘bunch of enterprising young enthusiasts who have mountains in our blood’, according to one of the founders. They live, eat and inhale mountains and want to share the same love with everyone. They take pride in their Himalayan A2 Badri Cow Ghee/Pahadi Cow Bilona Ghee, which is 100% Natural, an immunity booster, energy enhancer and health enabler, sourced from the high altitudes of the Kumaon Hills. Put dollops on your paratha – you really can’t go wrong with this.
And now for one of our little known gems – hempseed oil. We specially dig these two brands – BOHECO and India Hemp Organics. Raw, cold-pressed (to preserve all its Himalayan goodness) and unrefined. Free of preservatives. This is great to be sprinkled on your salads for an added dose of health and goodness. For the uninitiated, hemp seeds have been acknowledged as a superfood right from the times of ancient India.
And if you’re wondering where to get your hands on these goodies, head straight to 98fields.com
98fields.com is an online platform where these and more artisanal, organic brands across various categories are available.
Orrina Ashwagandha Ghee: https://www.98fields.com/product/ashwagandha-ghee/
Orrina Arjuna Ghee: https://www.98fields.com/product/arjuna-ghee/
Orrina Ajwa Dates Raja Amirtha A2 Ghee: https://www.98fields.com/product/ajwa-dates-and-saffron-flower-with-sunflower-seeds-in-vedic-spiced-ghee/
One thought on “The home chef’s guide to organic cooking oils”
Good content. Thanks for sharing