Day 17 March SOLSC! #SOL23

Today morning I used mustard oil for seasoning the potato and green gram curry. We did not use this oil earlier. In January we went to West Bengal for a vacation. Most Bengalis use mustard oil in their daily cooking. Mustard is grown extensively there. I thought I would try it in certain curries, and we liked the taste.

But I use coconut oil in our daily cooking All around us we see coconut trees. In fact, there are ten trees in our garden 😊. We get the oil from an oil mill not far from home. Many people dry the split coconuts in their yards or terraces. They give their copra to the mill to extract oil. I remember my father-in-law’s sister said she found it very difficult to eat a snack which was not fried in coconut oil.

Many years ago, we were in Gujarat. We travelled by the local bus from one city to another. There was a Gujarati lady sitting next to me. We started talking in Hindi. She hesitantly asked me whether it was true that people in Karnataka used coconut oil in their cooking. I said yes with a smile. She said she would never be able to understand how we could like its taste. Most people in Gujarat used groundnut oil in their daily cooking. One evening we walked into a restaurant. We were reading the menu card and were shocked to read that all dishes were made using pure ghee. We quietly walked out 😊. There is a very popular sweet shop in Hyderabad where sweets and fried snacks are made with ghee. We use ghee and butter but in very small quantities.

Apart from coconut oil I also use refined sunflower oil in certain dishes and for frying. Usually, I make dosas for breakfast. I use a cast iron tawa. We have to apply a little oil before spreading the batter. People use oils of their choice. But it is said that if we keep changing the oil becomes difficult to remove the dosa when it is cooked. I always use sesame oil. My daughter uses olive oil in Germany.

It is interesting that so many thoughts came to mind while I was making the potato curry. I immediately wrote down the main points. 😊

Mustard oil – Wikipedia

Peanut oil – Wikipedia

Coconut oil – Wikipedia

Ghee – Wikipedia


By Lakshmi Bhat

I am a person who believes there is not enough darkness in the world to extinguish the light of a small candle. We live in a small place in South India. I love reading, blogging, stitching, traveling, photography, listening to people and many other things which make life so very nice and interesting. Blogging is a fun experience, it has brought me into contact with people in different parts of the world and it is good to read about their everyday life. In spite of the differences there is a sameness which is fascinating. I have learnt and am learning something everyday. I have learnt to write haikus. I enjoy combining the thought and the number of syllables. I have always read books and I was happy to write short fiction. I had thought I would not be able to do so. Stream of Consciousness and photo challenges are fun too. Yes, there is so much in life that is sad and that hurts us. Many a time I wonder why life is so unfair to so many. We all have problems in life but the problems of many seems unbearable. This makes me feel so helpless. It is not possible to help everyone but we can do our bit, we can do something to help some in whatever way we can. Due to the pandemic I could not go to the Home for the mentally challenged for two years. I had been going there since 2011. I have started going again. I was happy that some members remembered me :) All of them are an important part of my life. There have been many challenges in life and we have faced them with a positive approach. Our grandson and granddaughter have made our lives richer.


  1. I am so glad I clicked to read this informative piece today! I learned so much! One reason I love to travel is to learn about foods and how they are prepared in other places. Thanks for taking me on a food travel journey today! And all because you took time to think about oil as you cooked. I know your time zone is different but if you happen to be free (awake) at 5pm EST, join the ZOOM Workshop I am co-hosting with Fran McCrackin today. Email Fran for link:

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love that you included the photos to show these phases of making curry. I haven’t used as many oils in my own cooking. I’m inspired to look more into coconut oil, not just for baking!

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  3. When I was in Mauritius, we used groundnut oil and coconut oil mainly. Here in Edinburgh we used olive oil, but lately began also using corn oil and sunflower oil. Ghee is supposed to be very unhealthy.

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  4. Of all those, I’ve only used olive oil! I also use canola or vegetable oil. I rarely consider how the taste impacts the final dish. Maybe today I’ll try coconut, which I’ve used on my skin but never to cook!

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  5. Lakshmi, fascinating! I have olive, canola, coconut, and sesame oils. in my house, and similar to your use of ghee, we use just a little bit of butter. I didn’t know about using only one kind of oil on your cast iron tawa. I wonder if that is true for other things cooked on it, or if it just affects dosas?

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  6. It sounds like you all take your cooking, and the ingredients of dishes very seriously! I have always liked the flavour of coconut, but I would like to know what “ghee” is? Some kind of herb?

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    1. Unsalted butter is boiled to a point when it stops spluttering. This is used to add flavour to dish. Or to make certain sweets. In our social and religious functions, for lunch or dinner half a teaspoon of ghee is added to the rice. It is a very aromatic fat 🙂. I make butter at home from the cream we get in the milk. I sometimes make ghee at home. But we get good ghee in the milk shop.


  7. Your posts always transport me – here, with practical advice as well. I had different kinds of oil in my grocery cart the other day and my husband questioned it….not understanding different uses. I also appreciate how the activity of cooking made you think in a writerly way.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This was very fascinating, as I love to cook and am always looking for new flavors. Sadly, no oil will be made locally, but I can begin with some different flavors from the grocery store. Thanks for sharing this great information. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for the explanation of the different oils that you use and why. I know that mustard oil is used a lot in India, very rarely in Australia, except by Indians. I can never distinguish the different tastes of oils as I tend to use the minimum amount. When I was in India everyone was amazed by how little oil I used every month.

    Liked by 1 person

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