Essential Flavoured Oils by SPRIG

Every now and then, we’ll come across an ‘it’ ingredient that everyone can’t seem to stop talking about. It’ll pop up in conversations, show up on TV shows and often end up as a hashtag on Instagram too. That’s when we know it’s time to roll up our sleeves and dig deep to know what’s really going on. Any guesses on what we can’t get enough of currently? Our kitchen just cannot get enough of Toasted Sesame Oil and Roasted Chili Oil from Sprig!

Toasted Sesame Oil
Yes, we’ve been using sesame seed oil for cooking in India for what seems like eons, so you might ask what’ the fuss is all about? The differences, (yes there are plenty) unfold as soon as you unscrew a bottle. A golden rule we swear by in our kitchen is to toast any kind of nuts we are baking or cooking with. Almonds, hazelnuts and even walnuts get a gentle toasting in a pan, or the oven (depending on our mood) to release their nutty flavour and aromas before use in any dish.

And this, we learned, is exactly the quality that Toasted Sesame Oil is rich in compared with regular cold pressed sesame or gingelly oil we use in India. For Toasted Sesame Oil, white sesame seeds are toasted until they release a heady aroma and unleash their nutty flavour, converting a regular oil into a magic ingredient! And did you know that because the flavour has already been unlocked, the smoking point of the oil is lowered?

So how does all this add up? Very deliciously if we may say so! We have been experimenting with SPRIG Toasted Sesame Oil in a variety of dishes, fried rice, stir fries, noodles, Asian salads, even Mediterranean dips and Indian dishes that call for sesame oil. Try hummus with a drizzle of Toasted Sesame Oil or mulgapodi with Toasted Sesame Oil instead of regular sesame oil. We kid you not when we say that WE ARE ADDICTED! And what makes SPRIG’s Toasted Sesame Oil standout, the moment you unscrew the sleek bottle is the heady aroma that wafts out promising subtly sweet intensely nutty flavour. This is thanks to quality sesame seeds being perfectly roasted prior to pressing so there are no chances of bitter notes or burnt color that sometimes come though in lesser grade Toasted Sesame Oils. Also keep in mind, a little goes a long way with SPRIG Toasted Sesame Oil (it’s that good!) so work with small amounts or as a finishing oil, added right at the very end. Use too much of it, and that might be all you taste in your dishes. So be patient as you experiment with it, allowing yourself to taste it and soak-in the aroma before you add it to what you are cooking. Trust your senses to guide you through the process, and we promise you, you’ll never falter!

Roasted Chili Oil

Our other big discovery is SPRIG’s Roasted Chili Oil, made with home grown Bydagi chilies. Unlike the Toasted Sesame Oil, where the sesame seeds are gently toasted, here the oil itself is gently warmed with a bunch of aromatics like cinnamon, bay leaves and peppers and then strained. That is when the chilies are added. Bydagi chilies from Karnataka are the secret to SPRIG’s Roasted Chili Oil and sets it apart from anything else you might find in the market. A deep colour and intense aroma gripped us when we opened the bottle. And because the aromatics are strained-off, you get a sense of flavours beyond just the chili, but never get to see it. Bydagi chilies are also known for being less spicy, so they won’t leave you or your guests teary-eyed at the dinner table, in contrast to some of the varieties found in South East Asia.

True that Roasted Chili Oil is commonly used in South East Asian cooking, but we felt that SPRIG’s Roasted Chili Oil (because of the use of Bydagi Chilies) was a great accompaniment to our curd rice and even regular dal-chawal! Pretty much like SPRIG’s Toasted Sesame Oil, their Roasted Chili Oil is best used to finish-off dishes, or as we like to put it, add a signature touch! No cooking with this one, or you could lose all the flavor that has been carefully added to oil.

True that Roasted Chili Oil is commonly used in South East Asian cooking, but we felt that SPRIG’s Roasted Chili Oil (because of the use of Bydagi Chilies) was a great accompaniment to our curd rice and even regular dal-chawal! Pretty much like SPRIG’s Toasted Sesame Oil, their Roasted Chili Oil is best used to finish-off dishes, or as we like to put it, add a signature touch! No cooking with this one, or you could lose all the flavor that has been carefully added to oil.

SPRIG’s Roasted Chili Oil has made its way into all our meals…even breakfast! We try to get our daily bowl of warm oats before heading off to work in the mornings, but we prefer savoury oats to sweet and a few drops of this Roasted Chili Oil to finish brings a deep, smoky, subtly, spicy flavour to our bowls. While we are sharing secrets, we might as well tell you that a piping hot bowl of instant noodles, finished off with Roasted Chili Oil has been our go-to snack off late too! And we won’t stop there; stir- fry veggies, chicken, noodles, fried rice and even simple dal rice and khichdi come alive with this oil! We broke the rules (aren’t they meant to be broken?) by using the Roasted Chili Oil in a buffalo mozzarella salad with the juiciest tomatoes and roasted bell peppers!
That’s us! Always experimenting!

While the SPRIG Toasted Sesame Oil and Roasted Chili Oils are rooted in the South East, they bring fantastic new nuances to your cooking as you can see. Get some today! Do you play with ingredients in your kitchen? We’d love to know about your experiments and experience with these oils too! Got any experiments up your sleeve that you would like to share with us?