Also Known as
Ghee imparts a rich, buttery taste and aroma to several Indian foods. Vanaspati, an alternative to ghee, is made from partially-hydrogenated permitted vegetable oils, and converted to solid form by hydrogenation. It is white and grainy (danedaar) in texture and is favoured for deep-frying. It is used as a ghee substitute in cooking as well in the production of bakery products, sweets and snack items.
When Vanaspati is made, trans-fatty acids are also produced; these increase the risk of heart disease when consumed in excess and are best avoided.
Dalda is the best known brand of Vanaspati.
How to Select
• Choose a reliable brand and select a pack size as per your requirement.
• Sometimes, the product may be fortified with vitamin A & D for health benefits. So, read the labels carefully and choose.
• Vanaspati is so flavorful that it is enough to use just half or two-thirds as much as other cooking oils.
• It has a very high burning point and doesn't burn or smoke during cooking.
• It combines excellently with a wide variety of spices.
• You can use Vanaspati ghee to sauté foods, in baking, to deep-fry, or even as a spread.
• It is often used for frying, when making sweets like gulab jamun, jalebis etc.
• Vanaspati is very commonly used in preparing bakery foods like puffs, khari, breads and biscuits, nankhatai, cakes, sweets and ice-cream too.
• Although very economical, it is better to use Vanaspati ghee merely as a flavouring/seasoning rather than the primary fat due to the presence of trans-fatty acids.
How to store
• Vanaspati ghee can be stored in an air-tight container. It does not need refrigeration.
• Vanaspati ghee is most notably said to stimulate the secretion of stomach acids to help with digestion, while other fats, such as butter and oils, slow down the digestive process and can sit heavily in the stomach.
• It does not spoil easily, and actually preserves the original freshness and potency of herbs and foods.
• Helps balance excess stomach acid, and helps maintain/repair the mucus lining of the stomach.
• Vanaspati ghee is said to prevent blisters and scarring if applied quickly to affected skin.
• It is said to promote all three aspects of mental functioning -- learning, memory and recall.
• Moderate intake proves beneficial; however excessive amounts can cause weight gain and other lifestyle diseases.