Few of my tried and tested tips and techniques for Deep frying right way. From the delicious pakoda and crispy hot samosa to crispy outside and perfectly soft inside french fries, most of us love to eat deep fried food. Go to any corner of India most of the food we want to eat is deep fried, most popular street foods like samosa, tikki, pakoda, south Indian medu vada and so many others, In the western India fafda, bonda, batata vada are deep fried and the list is endless.
"Deep frying" these are the two words that scare away most of the healthy eating enthusiast. Though we all want to eat it, still we avoid and keep searching on the internet the techniques and substitutes to avoid deep frying. In some cases, these methods work with good results and in some cases, the resulting dish is a complete disaster. Have you been there? I have been there and done that.
After lots of trials and errors, I came upon the decision (for myself) that rather than avoiding deep frying, let me learn how to deep fry food in right way :). So now I can still enjoy the taste of deep fried food (once in a while) but with lesser guilt that comes after.
Here are Few tips and techniques for Deep frying
Choosing right oil for Deep frying
There are healthy oils such as extra virgin olive oil etc, but I would not advise you to use them for deep frying.
It has a low smoke point, which makes the oil to breakdown even before it reaches an ideal point so not really good if you are using it from the health point of view. Ideal oil for deep frying should have a high smoke point.
Normal vegetable oil is OK for deep frying or best oil for deep frying is Peanut oil or Mustard oil both of which have the good smoking point.
If you are looking for neutral tasting oil vegetable oil is good for deep frying too. The smoking point here is an important point for choosing the right oil for deep frying.
Peanut oil is a great oil for deep frying because it has higher smoking point than most of other vegetable oils, so it remains stable at much higher temperatures and does not degrade very easily. Also peanut is low in saturated fat and is free of cholesterol and trans fat too.
Get your Deep frying batter right
Battered food tastes best when they have developed wonderfully crisp layer outside. To get it right you need to perfect your deep frying batter.
Use good quality ingredients, I always make the batter with water as a preferred liquid for making the deep fried batter. Very rarely soda or beer first because both of them make the batter airy and light.
One disadvantage of using such batters is carbonation gets over very quickly and the batter goes flat if you don’t use it up quickly. However, when you are making beer battered snacks or tempura you can’t help but to use them. SO make the batter in small batches if you are using soda or beer batter for making deep frying batter.
Another way of making your deep frying batter light and airy is to whisk it with a whisk instead of using form or spoon to make the batter. Use up the batter within an hour of making it otherwise it sometimes get slimy and doughy.
Don’t put too much food in one go
Do not put too much food in one go and overcrowd your deep fryer or cooking pan. Deep fry in small batches, this will reduce the temperature quickly and less surface area of the food is exposed to oil which can result in uneven deep frying.
Right Temperature for Deep Frying
Ideally, most of the battered deep fried food should have a crispy outside texture and steamed inside texture. But sometimes all we get is either too brown outside and raw and greasy inside food.
If you are wondering why your food is too oily after deep frying, the biggest cause can be the temperature. Maintaining the oil temperature is the key, maintaining the high temperature while deep frying is a must. On high temperatures, food gets brown exterior and food is fully cooked from inside.
However, very high heat food sometimes browns too fast and inside remains uncooked. Let the temperature too low and you get greasy food. Ideally, right temperature for deep frying is to preheat oil to somewhere between 325-375F and when you are deep frying don’t let it go below 250F.
Right Equipment for deep frying
You can buy a deep fryer which actually frees you from worrying about maintaining the right temperature. Most deep fryers have inbuilt filters to keep oil good for reuse.
If you think you don’t want to waste important counter space for another piece of expensive equipment, just use heavy bottomed Kadai or any other thick deep bottomed pan like dutch oven or wok. If possible invest in a digital thermometer to know when Oil is heated on right temperature for deep frying.