Making Mughlai Paratha At Home? 5 Ways To Cut Down On Oil

Who doesn’t like crispy, flaky Mughali parathas? However, these delicious parathas are known for being quite greasy and high in calories. If you look up ways to reduce oil in parathas, you’ll probably come across the tissue paper hack which involves using a napkin to soak off excess oil. But what if you didn’t use excess oil to begin with?

By incorporating smart cooking techniques and ingredient substitutions, you can create healthier homemade Mughlai parathas that are lighter on the oil but still full of flavour. The trick is to find ingredients which don’t need too much oil, be it for the base or the fillings. Here are some smart switch-ups which can help you cut down on the oil for your homemade Mughlai paratha.

Choose Leaner Protein Fillings

Did you know lean proteins and tender proteins take less time to cook and also need less oil? Traditional Mughlai parathas often feature rich fillings like minced meat or paneer cooked in generous amounts of oil or ghee. To cut down on oil content, opt for leaner protein options such as lean chicken breast, or tofu. These alternatives are lower in fat and calories while still providing ample protein and flavour.

When preparing the filling, use non-stick cookware or a minimal amount of oil for sautéing. You can also incorporate flavorful spices and herbs to enhance the taste without relying solely on oil. Experiment with combinations like cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala to create a delicious filling.

Incorporate Moisture-Rich Ingredients

Another way to reduce the need for excessive oil in Mughlai parathas is to include moisture-rich ingredients in the filling. Vegetables such as spinach, bell peppers, mushrooms, and onions add natural moisture and texture, reducing the reliance on added fats. Sautéing these vegetables with minimal oil or cooking them in their own juices can help retain their moisture while imparting flavour to the filling.

Additionally, consider incorporating ingredients like grated zucchini or mashed potatoes, which contribute moisture and help bind the filling together without the need for additional oil. 

Opt for Whole Grain Flour

Traditional Mughlai parathas are typically made with refined wheat flour or maida, which has a higher oil absorption capacity. To create healthier parathas, consider using whole grain flour such as whole wheat flour, chickpea flour besan, or a combination of both. Whole grain flours are higher in fibre and nutrients, resulting in a more nutritious and filling flatbread.

When working with whole-grain flour, it's important to adjust the dough consistency accordingly to achieve the desired texture. Whole wheat flour, for example, may require slightly more moisture than refined flour. You can add water gradually while kneading the dough until it reaches the right consistency, allowing you to create soft and pliable parathas without excessive oil.

Use a Light Hand with Oil During Cooking

While frying Mughlai parathas, it's tempting to use a generous amount of oil to achieve a crispy and golden-brown exterior. However, you can achieve similar results with less oil by using a non-stick pan or griddle and employing a light hand when greasing the cooking surface.

Before placing the parathas on the pan, lightly brush or spray the surface with a small amount of oil or cooking spray. Alternatively, you can use a non-stick pan without any additional oil, as the moisture from the dough and filling will prevent sticking. Cook the parathas over medium heat, flipping them occasionally until they are evenly golden and cooked through. This method reduces the overall oil content while still helping you make crisp parathas.

Try Baking or Air Frying

For an even healthier alternative to traditional frying, consider baking or air frying your Mughlai parathas. Baking or air frying requires minimal oil while still producing parathas that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

To bake Mughlai parathas, preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) and place the rolled-out parathas on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Lightly brush the tops of the parathas with oil or cooking spray to promote browning, then bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.

If using an air fryer, preheat the appliance to 375°F (190°C) and arrange the parathas in a single layer in the basket. Lightly spray or brush them with oil, then air fry for 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through, until crispy and golden.