Various fast foods we eat are made up of deep frying whether it is french fries, fried chicken, tempura, onion rings, spring rolls, pakoras etc. All these things need to be deep-frying. What is deep-frying? And why do we do it? Deep frying is a popular cooking technique in which food items are heated in boiling oils. Deep-frying imparts a crispy and delicious texture to various foods.
But which oil is best for deep-frying? There are various oils present in the market which one is good. Yes, there are various oils present in the market such as olive oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, mustard oil, etc and each oil has its pros and cons.
Apart from these oils, today, we will talk about the best alternative to this oil which is Indian desi ghee, yes desi ghee or clarified butter could be the best option if you are planning for deep-frying. How? Let’s see.
What is Desi Ghee?
Ghee is a type of clarified butter made by simmering butter until the water evaporates and removing the milk solids. It is a pure form of butter with almost no milk solids, consisting of 99.99% fat. Ghee is essential in Indian cuisine, Ayurvedic medicine, and religious ceremonies, symbolizing purity.
Why desi ghee is good for deep-frying?
Ghee is an excellent choice for deep-frying because it has a high smoke point, which allows it to add flavour and crispness to food. Compared to butter, ghee has a higher smoke point, making it suitable for frying at higher temperatures. Ghee's high smoke point also makes it a safer oil for high-temperature cooking methods like frying, grilling, and roasting.
The rich and nutty flavour of ghee can enhance the taste profile of fried foods. It can add a luxurious touch to deep-fried creations like chicken, fish, and vegetables. Additionally, Ghee is lactose- and casein-free, as the milk solids are strained out during processing. Moreover, ghee cooks without sputtering, smoking, or burning.
Advantages of Using Ghee for Deep Frying
Using ghee for deep frying can offer several advantages over other cooking oils. In this section we will discuss some points that highlight the advantages of using ghee for deep frying:
- High smoke point: Ghee has a high smoke point, typically around 450°F (232°C). This means it can withstand high temperatures without breaking down or producing harmful smoke or any harmful compounds such as trans fats. It makes ghee suitable for deep frying, as it can maintain its stability and integrity during the cooking process.
- Rich flavour: Ghee has a rich, nutty flavour that can enhance the taste of fried foods. It adds a distinctive aroma and depth of flavour, making the dishes more enjoyable.
- Healthier option: While ghee is primarily composed of saturated fats, it contains lower levels of potentially harmful trans fats compared to some vegetable oils. Additionally, ghee is rich in fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K, which can provide some nutritional benefits. Moderation is still key, as ghee is high in calories, so it should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
- Longer shelf life: Ghee has a longer shelf life compared to other oils due to its low moisture content and high concentration of fat. It can be stored at room temperature for an extended period without turning rancid, making it a convenient option for deep frying.
- Improved crispness: Ghee's unique composition can contribute to achieving a crispier texture in fried foods. The fat molecules in ghee help create a golden and crispy exterior while retaining moisture inside the food.
- Lactose-free and suitable for lactose-intolerant individuals: Ghee is clarified butter, which means it has milk solids and impurities removed. As a result, ghee is virtually lactose-free, making it a suitable option for individuals with lactose intolerance or sensitivity.
- Traditional and cultural significance: Ghee has been used in traditional cooking practices in various cultures for centuries. Its usage in deep frying can add authenticity and cultural significance to certain recipes.
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Tips for deep-frying with ghee
When deep-frying with ghee, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Choose a suitable pot or pan: Select a deep, heavy-bottomed pot or pan for deep-frying. Ensure that it is large enough to accommodate the food you are frying comfortably and has high sides to prevent oil splatters.
- Use pure ghee: Use high-quality grass-fed cows. It has a higher smoke point and a more stable composition, making it ideal for deep-frying.
- Heat the ghee properly: Heat the ghee slowly and steadily over medium to medium-high heat. This gradual heating allows any residual moisture to evaporate and prevents the ghee from burning. Use a cooking thermometer to monitor the temperature and aim for a range between 350°F (177°C) and 375°F (190°C).
- Fry in small batches: Avoid overcrowding the pan with too much food at once, as it can lower the temperature of the ghee and result in greasy, soggy food. Fry in small batches, allowing enough space for the food to cook evenly and maintain its crispiness.
- Preheat and dry the food: Ensure the food you're frying is dry before adding it to the hot ghee. Excess moisture can cause the oil to splatter. You can pat dry the food with paper towels or let it air dry for a few minutes before frying. Additionally, preheat the ghee before adding the food to maintain a consistent frying temperature.
- Monitor and maintain the temperature: Keep an eye on the temperature of the ghee throughout the frying process. If the ghee gets too hot and starts smoking excessively, reduce the heat to prevent burning. If the temperature drops too low, the food may absorb excess oil and become greasy. Adjust the heat as needed to maintain a steady frying temperature.
- Drain excess oil: Once the food is cooked, use a slotted spoon or a wire mesh strainer to remove it from the ghee. Allow the fried food to drain on a paper towel-lined plate or a wire rack to remove any excess oil.
- Store and reuse ghee: Ghee can be strained and stored for future use. After deep-frying, let the ghee cool down and strain it through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove any food particles. Store the strained ghee in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. It can be reused for frying multiple times as long as it remains free from moisture and food debris.
It is important to exercise caution when working with hot oil, and you should follow proper safety measures to prevent burns or accidents.
In conclusion, Ghee is a type of clarified butter made by simmering butter until the water evaporates and removing the milk solids. Desi ghee can be a good alternative to other oils if you are planning to choose oil for deep-frying as it has various advantages over other oils.
It has high smoke points, healthy fats & vitamins, rich aroma, taste, flavour and longer shelf life. Desi ghee gives crunchiness and crispiness to the food item that is being deep-fried. Desi ghee can be reused over and over again if it is left behind.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Is ghee a suitable option for deep frying?
Ghee is an excellent choice for deep frying due to its high smoke point and stability. Its smoke point is around 450°F (232°C), which is higher than most vegetable oils, making it ideal for deep frying at high temperatures.
2. Does ghee enhance the flavour of deep-fried dishes?
Yes, ghee imparts a rich, nutty flavour to deep-fried foods. Its unique taste can enhance the overall flavour profile of various dishes, including fried snacks, Indian cuisine, and other recipes that require deep frying.
3. Is ghee a healthy alternative for deep frying?
While ghee is high in saturated fats, it is considered a healthier choice compared to many other oils. It contains healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which have been associated with various health benefits. However, like any fat, it should be consumed in moderation.
4. Does ghee produce less oil absorption in deep-fried foods?
Yes, ghee has a lower oil absorption rate compared to other oils during deep frying. This means that foods fried in ghee tend to absorb less oil, resulting in lighter, less greasy dishes. The reduced oil absorption can be beneficial for those watching their calorie intake.
5. Can ghee be reused for deep frying?
Yes, ghee can be reused for deep frying multiple times. Its high smoke point and stability allow it to withstand multiple frying sessions without breaking down or producing harmful compounds. However, it is important to strain and store the used ghee properly to maintain its quality and prevent contamination.