Benefits of oil | The Daily Star

Benefits of oil | The Daily Star


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Cooking oil is a staple in many of our cupboards and diets, and different oils can provide unique flavours, fragrances, and textures to our favourite recipes.

Oils are the basis for many recipes and play a major part in various cooking techniques, from sautéing and frying to roasting and baking.

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How do different oils factor into a healthy diet? It all comes down to the types of fat found in the oil.

Fat provides satiety and enjoyment to the food we eat, but it also serves nutritional benefits. Fats are made up of fatty acids which act in a variety of ways, but they are key to the development of hormones, transport and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and helping to regulate body temperature.

The most common types of fatty acids include unsaturated fats, saturated fats, and trans- fats.

Unsaturated Fats

These types of fats are usually liquid at room temperature and come in two main forms, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. These fats may help reduce heart disease and lower cholesterol levels.

Saturated Fats

These are typically solid at room temperature. Many studies have linked diets high in saturated fat with elevated cholesterol levels and increased risk for heart disease, so it’s best to consume these in moderation.

Trans-Fats

Most trans-Fats are manufactured through hydrogenation, which helps increase shelf life. They can raise LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol, a combination that increases the risk of heart disease.

SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE

Ingredients

500g whole wheat spaghetti, boiled

1 tbsp oil

1 large onion, finely diced

1 celery stick, finely chopped

2 clove garlic, crushed

1 tomato, chopped

1 carrot, cut into small cubes

½ cup green peas

400g chicken mince

4 tbsp tomato puree

2 tbsp tomato ketchup

250ml chicken stock

¼ tsp dried oregano

Fresh basil

Salt and pepper to season

Method

Boil the spaghetti with salt and little oil until cooked. Let the water drain and keep it aside. Heat oil in a large frying pan and sauté the vegetables and garlic for 10 minutes. Add chicken mince and fry over medium high heat. Breaking up the mince as you go. Season with salt, pepper and dried oregano. Cook the chicken mince for 10 minutes or until cooked through. Add tomato puree and ketchup. Stir in the stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the chicken mince sauce is thick. Add fresh basil and serve with Parmesan and boiled whole wheat spaghetti.

GRILLED CHICKEN WRAP

Ingredients

4 boneless skinless chicken breast

For marinade —

2 large garlic clove, minced

1 tbsp ground coriander

1 tbsp ground cumin

¼ tbsp cardamom powder

2 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp black pepper powder

2 tbsp lemon juice

3 tbsp oil

Yoghurt sauce —

1 cup yoghurt

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 tsp cumin powder

½ tsp pepper powder

Salt to taste

To serve —

6 flatbreads

1 cup lettuce

½ cup tomato slices

Method

Combine the marinade ingredients in a large ziplock bag. Add chicken and use your hands to make sure each piece is coated. Marinate for 2-3 hours. Combine the yoghurt sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix. Cover and put in the fridge until required. Heat oil in grill pan on medium heat. Place chicken on the grill and cook the first side for 4-5 minutes until nicely charred, then turn and cook the other side for 3-4 minutes. Remove chicken from the grill and cover with foil. Set aside to rest for 5 minutes.

To serve —

Slice chicken and pile onto platter alongside flatbreads, salad, and the yoghurt sauce. To make a wrap, get a piece of flatbread and smear with yoghurt sauce. Top with a bit of lettuce and tomato and chicken. Roll up and enjoy!

CHICKPEA RICE (CHANA PULAO)

Ingredients

2 cups long grain basmati/aromatic rice

1 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2 tbsp oil

1 tbsp ghee

2 onion, sliced

3 clove garlic, crushed

½ inch ginger, crushed

2 small bay leaves

½ tsp black pepper corns

1-inch cinnamon stick

1 cardamom

3 cloves

½ tsp cumin seeds

4-5 green chillies

2 tbsp coriander leaves

Salt to taste

Method

Thoroughly wash the rice and soak in water. Set aside. Heat oil in a pan. Add onion and fry until golden brown. Add ginger-garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with 2 tablespoons of water and continue to sauté. Add whole spices and drained chickpeas, stir to combine. Add rice, water, green chillies and salt. Cover and cook until done. Remove from heat. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

Tom Yum Soup

Ingredients

250g shrimps (raw, deveined and peeled)

2 stalks of lemongrass

2 lemon leaves

2 red chillies (dry or fresh), sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp ginger, minced

1 large tomato, diced

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp red chilli paste

2 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 tbsp oil

1 tsp sugar

Salt to taste

Method

Trim off the top third and very bottom of the lemongrass stalks. Using the side of a knife, press down across the stalks to bruise the lemongrass and release the oils. Chop each stalks into 4 pieces and set aside.

Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Once the butter begins to shimmer, add the lemongrass, garlic-ginger minced and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.

Add the red chilli paste and cook for another 1 minute. Add shrimps into the pan and fry for few seconds. Add water, lemon leaves, soy sauce, sugar, tomatoes and stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Cover, then reduce the heat. Cook until broth has reduced slightly. Add the coconut milk and red chilli slices.  Add the lemon juice and season with salt to taste. Remove from heat and enjoy!





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