Modern kitchens are heated with traditional cold pressed oils.

Cold pressed oils, promoted to be healthier than normal cooking oils, are emerging as the latest health fashions worldwide. But are cold pressed oils new to us? Interestingly, the design and oils that were produced locally were a vital part of our ancestors' diet. Nutritionist and dietitian Shikha Mahajan says: “Traditionally, all ingredients, used by any society, are obtained and available locally. Oils were no exception and were made from seeds such as almonds, sesame or mustard and nuts such as peanuts and coconut. By the way, these are oils that need the least amount of processing and are easy to produce.

The most suitable for Indian cuisine.

Experts suggest that living and eating food as our ancestors did is probably the best way to live a healthy life. “Previously, oils were extracted from mustard, peanut or sesame seeds. These were unrefined oils extracted by cold pressing and, therefore, extremely healthy and suitable for Indian cuisine, says hospitality consultant Aslam Gafoor.

The change from paranthas to pizzas influenced oil preferences

Over the years, several oil substitutes became part of our diet, thanks to technology, changing eating habits and our growing love for kitchens around the world. The nutritionist and dietitian Nmami Agarwal explains: “The change has been witnessed due to the inclusion of Western cooking methods. Today, not only rotis and paranthas are prepared in Indian cuisines. Pancakes, tortillas, pizzas, salads and pasta have also become a regular part of the diet. Previously, superficial or deep frying were the most used methods. Now, steaming, cooking, baking and roasting has also become common. Therefore, the inclusion of different types of oils.

It is the healthiest way to extract oil.

“There is a growing awareness about the low nutrient content and the health risks of refined oils. Therefore, virgin coconut oil, walnut oil, flaxseed oil, peanut oil and olive oil are returning in Indian kitchens, ”explains Aslam. And, the future seems positive, stress experts. “History is repeating itself in fact. With a sudden increase in the demand for organic or cold-pressed oils, people are opting for traditional cooking oils, especially cold-pressed oils, such as mustard, sesame and coconut oils. Cold pressing is the best method to extract oil, since neither heat nor solvents are used to preserve essential fatty acids, ”adds Nmami.

A recognition of environmentalists too ...

The cold-pressed oil production process leaves a minimal carbon footprint, since it is extracted locally and is not imported. These oils contain saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats and trans fats. The reason we should be local is that the four automatically balance according to the topography and offer multiple health benefits. “Traditional cooking oils such as mustard oil, coconut oil and ghee are definitely superior to modern refined oils, as they are excellent for health. Be sure to include these traditional oils in your daily diet, says Nmami.

Choose oils based on topography and weather

Food historian Shri Bala notes: “If you look at the oils used in southern India - gingelly, coconut and peanuts - their use depended primarily on what was available in abundance locally. People must understand that they must consume food according to the region to which they belong. Mustard oil, which is quite common in northern India, would not work in the southern region, since mustard helps retain heat in the body, while in the south, the body needs a coolant. Our consumption must depend on the topography, the climate and the genetic heritage. It is important to consider these aspects before following any health fad.

To generate cold pressed oil at home ...

Dry the seeds or nuts in the sun (as the case may be) properly to reduce the moisture content. This could take several days. The dried seeds or nuts are placed in a pressing machine, made of steel or wood, where they are pressed to slowly release the oil.

from them. Although heat is generated in this process, it is only 30 to 40 degrees, which does not destroy nutrients.

The oil that is collected is cured by keeping it in the sun.

By-products of this process can be used as fodder and fertilizer for cattle.