Cooking Without Oil? Learn Its Benefits And Try 3 Viral Recipes

In India, if you suggest anyone cook without any oil or addition of fat at all, they will look at you baffled. Though there are variations of popular dishes that can be cooked without oil, those are not referred to as traditional recipes. If not a tablespoon, then recipes would require greasing the pan with oil so that food does not stick to the surface. If you are not using oil for frying or cooking, you will be using it in ingredients. Even for boiled and mashed dishes like chokha and makha, a drizzle of oil is always added on top.

Video Credit: Kunal Kapur/ YouTube

Can you imagine dal makhani, jalebi, puri, pav bhaji, gol gappe, tikki chaat, dal tadka, khichdi, biryani, or other mouth-watering dishes being cooked without ghee or butter, nary a drop? Making such a request to a chef or suggesting such dishes to a foodie is no less than a sin. However, before humans discovered oil, they used to roast food or cook it in water. A similar trend can now be observed on social media.

Many home chefs, trendsetters, and healthcare experts are promoting cooking without oil on Instagram and other social media platforms. The reels are going viral because the dishes look the same, only their nutritional value seems to be enhanced. While due to health reasons, many people opt for cooking with a minimum amount of oil, they will certainly be surprised to learn a few recipes for cooking without oil.

Benefits Of Cooking Without Oil

SAAOL (Science and Art of Living), a New Delhi-based wellness medical foundation, is promoting zero-oil cooking and lifestyle management. They suggest diet advice based on face-based medical tests and allopathic modern medicine. 

Dr Bimal Chhajer, who is the founder of SAAOL, is also going viral on social media for sharing the benefits of zero-oil cooking and a recipe as well. According to their website,

  • Zero-oil cooking can benefit heart health because it reduces the intake of trans and saturated fat. 
  • It helps with weight management by bringing down the intake of the number of calories.
  • No-oil cooking promotes better digestion, and it is perfect for people experiencing digestion issues.
  • Cooking without oil can help people manage their cholesterol levels, and it enhances the natural flavours of ingredients.

Also Read: Did You Know You Can Make Dal Makhani In Pressure Cooker?

Viral Cooking Without Oil Recipes

Paneer Gravy Without Oil

In a video shared by Saqqu Ki Rasoi, Dr Bimal Chhajer was seen promoting a recipe for paneer gravy without using oil. He suggested roasting cumin seeds first in a hot pan and adding sliced onions to it. Seeds will stick to the onion. Add a few drops of water to prevent the ingredients from burning. 

Once the onions are brown, you can add spices to the mixture and pour in some water to ensure the spices are cooked nicely. Later, you can add tomatoes and cook them until water has evaporated. You will have dry gravy paste to which you can further add some water, paneer slices, and coriander leaves. Dr Chhajer joked in the end that this way people can save money on oil.

Soup Without Oil

Yes, you can now cook soup without a single drop of oil. Dhruti, a nutrition coach on Instagram, shared a recipe for cooking soup without oil in July 2023. She started by heating a pressure cooker and adding chopped vegetables like pumpkin, onion, tomato, carrot, bottle gourd, etc. 

She added salt to the mix and water until the veggies were immersed in it. After 4-5 whistles, she poured the mashable vegetables into a blender and ground them into a smooth paste. After straining through a sieve, you can sprinkle black pepper and red chilli powder on the top to enjoy a healthier variant of vegetable soup.

Puri Without Oil

If you cannot hold yourself from scrolling through reels on Instagram, you have definitely come across videos of people trying out how to cook puri without oil. It has taken the internet by storm, and influencers around the globe are trying this method.

You have to roll the dough into a circular shape, cook it in the kadhai with hot simmering water, and add the puri in an air fryer tray or even the oven. After a couple of minutes, you will notice that puri has fluffed up into a sphere. You can eat it with aloo sabji or any gravy of your choice.