Indian Food and Bimoli

Now I love Indian food and can cook a pretty mean curry.

It all goes back to when I first started living away from the parental home and ended up sharing houses with all sorts of people. Once I shared with a guy and his girlfriend and he introduced me to coming home from work, opening a beer, opening a jar of chilis, slicing some cheese and eating each slice with a chili on top. It was hot but the mission was to test one’s limits. Later on, I ended up having curry cook-offs with another guy (different house) where the aim was to exceed the extremes of the last one and when eating, last the longest before breaking out into a sweat.

So I am pretty critical when it comes to Indian restaurants. I have eaten at both the Sun (southern Indian) and the Piyashi (northern Indian) restaurants. Today, I spoke with an Indian guy who lives in the apartments at the Piyashi and he explained everything. Not only did he explain which one was southern and which one northern, but dissected the menus with withering precision.

I was but mince meat in his company. However, he did explain one weakness which I had inaccurately analysed. I thought Piyashi used too much ghee and he quickly corrected me and said, “no, they use Bimoli … I try to tell them … next time you are there, ask for me and I will guide you on eating what they do best”. He’s my man.

So what is Bimoli ? Bimoli is palm oil and is used everywhere here. I have heard some bad stuff about Bimoli but decided to look into it, so I have put together a table of % of saturated fats in each of the oils listed :

Oil % saturated fat
canola 7
safflower 9
sunflower 10
olive 13
corn 13
margarine 17
peanut 17
palm (Bimoli) 49
butter (ghee ?) 62
coconut 86

To be honest, I use a blend of canola and butter in my curries. At other times, I use olive oil, which may not be the lowest in saturated fat, but it is very high in mono-unsaturated fats which is meant to be good. Got to get on my bike … come to think of it, palm oil is probably safer.

One thought on “Indian Food and Bimoli

  1. mono-unsaturated. The un- is kinda important. I won’t explain why, though, for fear of exposing just how much my knowledge of organic chemistry has deteriorated since high school.

    Nice blog, by the way. You’ve become my most reliable source of info on Timor Leste since it faded from the media spotlight.

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