Why There’s A Place For Olive Oil In Indian Cooking?

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Why Olive Oil Can Still Be An Important Part Of Indian Food Preparation

Updated 19th October 2022

Extra Virgin Olive Oil For Indian Cooking
Extra Virgin Olive Oil For Indian Cooking

Indian cuisine is known for its rich and diverse flavours and preparing your Indian meals with a quality olive oil adds to the flavour and health benefits.


  • Extra virgin olive oil is a great choice for preparing Indian Meals
  • Frequent consumption of extra virgin olive oil is associated with multiple health benefits
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil can withstand high temperatures in cooking
  • The versatility of extra virgin olive oil allows it to be used in multiple ways with Indian cooking

Benefits Of Cooking Indian Food With Olive Oil

From fiery curries to delicate desserts, Indian food has something to offer everyone and extra virgin olive oil is becoming an increasingly popular cooking ingredient in many parts of the world, including India. Olive oil has a number of health benefits. It is high in antioxidants and heart-healthy fats. Additionally, it has been shown to boost cognitive function and protect against age-related mental decline. When cooking with olive oil, it is important to choose a quality product. Extra virgin olive oil is the highest quality type of olive oil. It is made from pure, cold-pressed olives and has a fruity, verdant flavour. When used in Indian cooking, extra virgin olive oil can help to enhance the flavours of your dishes. Whether you are sautéing spices or making a classic curry, extra virgin olive oil will give your meal a delicious boost of flavour.

It is true that some Indian dishes require heating at high temperatures or deep frying but it is a myth that olive oil can not be used for cooking at high temperatures. In fact, contrary to some beliefs, high quality extra virgin olive oil such as Morocco Gold is a great choice for many cooking methods as its smoke point is somewhere around 374 – 405 °F (190–207°C).  As explained by the Olive Wellness Institute, Extra Virgin Olive Oil contains high levels of natural antioxidants.  These antioxidants protect the naturally stable oil when heated, making Extra Virgin Olive Oil a very healthy option to cook with (including deep frying, pan frying, sauteing and oven baking).

Top Tips For Using Extra Virgin Olive Oil In Indian Cooking

At Morocco Gold, we loved these top tips on Firstcry Parenting for using extra virgin olive oil in your Indian cooking.  These are;

  • While dressing salads, pour the olive oil first and then add salt, vinegar or lemon. This will provide a protective layer which helps the vegetables stay fresh and crisp.
  • Spread olive oil on meat if you’re going to barbecue it. This helps preserve the natural juices.
  • If you’re going to deep-fry something, dry out the ingredients first. This will ensure crispness.
  • Make sure that the frying-pan contains enough oil to cover the ingredients. If there is too little olive oil, the food may be too soft or it may burn.

How Different Types Of Olive Oil Can Be Used For Cooking

Cooking With Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Cooking With Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Another handy article from AwesomeCuisine.com shares how the different variants or ‘grades’ of olive oil , from extra virgin olive oil to refined, can be used in Indian food preparation.

Extra-virgin olive oil: (this is the category in which Morocco Gold sits)

Pure olive oil:

  • A combination of refined olive oil and extra-virgin olive oil. Refined olive oil is obtained by refining olive oil that does not contain optimum characteristics. After refining the olive oil, it is blended with extra-virgin olive oil.
  • It is intermediate-grade oil with medium aroma and flavour and a pale colour.
  • Suitable for pan and deep frying, stir-fries, stews, etc.
  • In cakes and pastries, it is used both as an ingredient in dough and for frying, but it is not suitable for cooking Indian cuisine.

Pomace olive oil:

  • The main cooking-grade oil and the least expensive also.
  • Obtained by treating the olive residue paste (after the fruit has been pressed) with solvents to extract the oil and then blending the product with extra-virgin oil to enhance its aroma.
  • This is light oil with a neutral taste and flavour.
  • Suitable for Indian cuisine.

Inspiration To Use Your Olive Oil For Cooking An Indian Treat

Extra Virgin Olive Oil And Vegetable Curry
Extra Virgin Olive Oil And Vegetable Curry

Here is a way of making sure the odd handful of beans or other vegetable fragments can be eaten up when none of them individually can offer a meal in themselves. You can vary the vegetables according to what you have and of course, Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil.

Although it may sound odd to suggest further uses for a recipe in itself made up of last-chance-saloon bits and pieces, if you do have a smallish amount of this curry left over, you should know it makes for a wonderful sauce – just heat it up in a saucepan until piping hot over a fillet or two of lemon sole, briefly steamed in a mixture of water and sake. Drizzle with Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil.

View Our Indian Recipe