Is that ghee in my curry?
I really enjoy Indian food and it can be healthy if you make the right choices. One big concern though is the type of fat used in the cooking.
I ask whether the chef uses ghee and am often told they use vegetable oil. Ghee is very common as the fat used in Indian cooking. Ghee is a clarified butter without any solid milk particles or water.
It is 65% saturated fat which makes it very unhealthy. Curries with ghee taste better, but other oils are much healthier.
Vegetable oil can be a better choice but so called "vegetable" oil can be palm oil which like coconut oil is actually loaded with saturated fat! Palm oil is often used because it is cheap and has high oxidative stability (saturation) when used for frying.
Ideally they should use other vegetable oils such as canola oil which is low in saturated fat, high in monounsaturated fat and has a good omega-3 fatty acid profile. It is perhaps the healthiest of all common cooking oils.
If the waiter assures you it is a healthy oil like canola, how can you tell if they are honest with you? This is not easy.
As saturated fats will generally solidify when chilled I would expect that if a curry with ghee is refrigerated the fats should be solid on the top by the next day. I am informed by a friend though, that the fat may emulsify and not come to the surface.
Hopefully will have some results from the kitchen/lab real soon.
Any opinions would be welcome.