`Flavored Olive Oil Adds Zing to Traditional Indian Dishes

Food & Cooking

Flavored Olive Oil Adds Zing to Traditional Indian Dishes

Sep. 13, 2011
By Vikas Vij

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Fla­vor-infused olive oil can help turn a typ­i­cal Indian dish into an exotic del­i­cacy. Indian cooks have tra­di­tion­ally used ground­nut or almond oil to add dif­fer­ent fla­vors to their home­made dishes. Now olive oil is the ris­ing star for cre­at­ing more chic Indian fare.

Indian dishes are known for their lib­eral use of hot spices, herbs and other exotic fla­vor­ing ingre­di­ents. So fla­vored olive oils meet the needs of the tra­di­tional Indian cooks per­fectly. Olive oil fla­vored with herbs like mint and thyme, or spices such as chilli and pep­per, becomes so robust in terms of zest and zing, that it is no longer nec­es­sary to add extra spices to achieve the fla­vor and aro­mas chefs are after.

A vari­ety of ingre­di­ents can be used to cre­ate fla­vored olive oils. Cit­rus fruits such as lemon or orange are the cur­rent favorites here. Pop­u­lar herb-infused olive oils include rose­mary, basil, fen­nel, sage, gar­lic, thyme and tar­ragon.

Fla­vored olive oil can be used to enhance veg­eta­bles, meats and baked dishes. Olive oil infused with lemon, gar­lic or other zingy ingre­di­ents is an excel­lent add-on for Indian salad dress­ings and mari­nades.

Fla­vored olive oils can be pur­chased at select out­lets in the urban Indian mar­kets. It is also pos­si­ble to fla­vor olive oil at home. The sim­plest approach to home fla­vor­ing is the cold infu­sion approach. In this case, the fla­vor­ing ingre­di­ent is placed in a bot­tle or jar of plain olive oil for sev­eral hours.

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Renowned Indian chef and writer San­jeev Kapur called the use of olive oil in Indian cook­ing a no brainer.” In his lat­est book Cook­ing with Olive Oil’ Kapur addressed the con­cerns of Indi­ans regard­ing using olive oil as a cook­ing medium and he has shown how the most tra­di­tional Indian dishes can be made using olive oil with great results.



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