Gingelly oil is an edible vegetable oil made from sesame seeds. It is one of the earliest-known crop-based oils, with evidence of use in the southern part of India going back at least two thousand years.
There are several different types of sesame oils. Sesame and gingelly oils are both made from sesame seeds, but the seeds are processed differently before extraction of the oils. Gingelly oil is made from a hot extraction process on the raw seeds. It has a pale amber colour and is mild in flavour.
The sesame oil used in Asian cooking is made from roasted seeds and has a much stronger, nuttier flavour. It cannot be used in place of gingelly oil.
Gingelly oil is used extensively in south Indian cooking and is a good general oil to use for most of the recipes in this book unless other oils are specified.
The oil is high in antioxidants, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. It’s an excellent source of Vitamins E and K, omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids. It also contains trace elements such as manganese, copper, calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc.
Gingelly oil is only available from Indian grocers.