The issue of choosing a good cooking-oil never really fazed me till I started playing around in a kitchen on my own. While moderation is definitely the key when it comes to fat intake, you do have a lot of choices in selecting oil for everyday cooking. My initial choices were rather centred on what I have been familiar with although of late, I am becoming more and more interested in 'getting to know my oils better'.
Rice Bran Oil is extracted from the germ and inner husk of rice and is reputed to have certain health benefits. Since Adani Wilmar's Fortune is quite a popular brand in cooking oils here, I was excited to try out their Rice Bran Oil.
The oil is priced at Rs. 115 per litre and is quite an affordable option. The label at the back puts Unsaturated fat content at 76%, Saturated fat content at 24% along with Oryzanol at 1000mg/100 gm and Vitamin E at 50 mg/100 gm.
Since the oil comes in an opaque jar, I thought you will be interested in seeing what it originally looks like.
It has a very mild flavour that is barely discernible unlike some of the other popular 'healthy' oils which makes it highly suitable for frying and sautéing.
While olive oil and certain other virgin vegetable oils have their fair share of health benefits, most of them have a rather disadvantageous smoke point - in other words, they don't fare well when it comes to high temperature cooking. You don't think you cook at high temperatures? Remember all those sputtering and frying that is so common in lots of our traditional (and other!) Indian recipes? Well, they all require the oil to be heated up to high temperatures. If a particular type of oil starts to smoke and break down along the way, you certainly don't want to use it in high temperature cooking. This is where the high smoke point of Fortune Rice Bran Oil comes in handy.
There is no other way to know how a cooking-oil fares than to cook with it and that is what I did! I was intent on trying out a couple of recipes that were not too spicy so that I would know exactly how the flavour of the oil interfered with the original flavour of the ingredients. Also I wanted to see how it behaves when frying as well as sautéing. Fried Chicken and Paneer Balls along with a Cheese Dip with Sautéed Carrots and Garlic seemed to be a good palette for testing the oil.
FRIED CHICKEN & PANEER BALLS
What You Will Need:
- Chicken, Washed, Pat dried and then Ground - 1 cup
- Crumbled Paneer – 1 packed cup
- Very Finely Chopped Onion (Cut into really thin slices and then go the other way.) – ½ cup
- Grated Ginger - 1 tsp.
- Minced Garlic - 1 tsp.
- Meat Masala - 1 and a 1/2 tsp.
- Pepper Powder - 1 and a 1/2 tsp.
- Rice Bran Oil (I used Fortune Rice Bran Oil.)
On To the Cauldron:
Mix all the ingredients together very well. Shape into small balls. (I used a tablespoon measure and got twenty balls.)
Heat some oil in a pan. Test the oil by dropping a small portion of the mix in it. If it sizzles and rises to the surface immediately, then the oil is at a suitable temperature. Fry the balls in batches. Turn occasionally.
Take them out when they turn brown and drain excess oil on tissue papers.
If you over fry them, they won't be as juicy as they would otherwise be.
Also, you can fry them using very little oil on a non stick skillet. Keep them covered for some time while they are cooking. The outsides won't turn as brown as in the case of deep frying them. But they will still be yummy!
CHEESE DIP WITH SAUTÉED CARROTS AND GARLIC
What You Will Need:
- Milk - 1 cup (Both whole and skimmed versions would work fine.)
- Wheat Flour - 1 tbsp.
- Cheddar Cheese, grated (Or any other cheese that would melt easily) - 1/2 cup
- Carrots, cut into tiny pieces - 1/2 cup
- Garlic, minced - 1/2 tbsp.
- Nutmeg, grated - to taste
- Oregano (Or any other dried herbs.) - A pinch (Optional)
- Rice Bran Oil (I used Fortune Rice Bran Oil.) - 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp.
Sauté carrots in a teaspoon of oil. Once they are done, add garlic, stir around for a few seconds, and switch off. Keep aside.
In another pan, heat up a tablespoon of oil. Add the flour and sauté till the raw smell goes.
Add the milk, a quarter of a cup at a time and whisking constantly.
Once it comes to a boil, switch off and add all other ingredients including the sautéed carrots and garlic. Mix thoroughly.
The sauce must be of an easily pourable consistency. If it had gotten too thick, you can loosen it with a bit of milk.
In the case of the Fried Chicken and Paneer Balls, I was happy to note that the oil left no taste that interfered with the ingredients that went in. Also, keeping in mind the amount of oil that I started off with and what was left behind in the fryer and the absorbent tissues, not too much of oil seemed to be retained by the balls. However, keep in mind that the right temperature has a lot to say in the amount of fat retention in fried recipes. Again, I rarely use butter when making roux based sauces and the Fortune Rice Bran oil worked perfectly in the Cheese Dip with Sautéed Carrots and Garlic.
Altogether, I was satisfied with the product and would use it again.
Disclosure: I am reviewing rice bran oil as a part of the BlogAdda's Product Review Program for Indian Bloggers. I have received a product sample for reviewing it.