There are several reasons why health experts advocate to reduce oil consumption – firstly, oil is a highly concentrated source of calories, with refined sunflower oil (commonly used in Indian cooking) containing approximately 120 calories per tablespoon and mustard oil may have up to 124 calories. Other most commonly used cooking oils (vegetable, olive, coconut, canola) have been found to have calories in the same range with 14 gm of fat per tbsp. By eliminating or reducing oil consumption, individuals can significantly reduce their caloric intake, which can support their weight loss efforts. Some people also prefer to go oil free due to certain health concerns such as heart disease or high cholesterol, and low-oil and zero-oil diet may in fact be improve their cardiovascular health. Out of all the meals, dinner time is a good idea to go oil free to shave off significant calories and take the extra load off the body when it’s preparing for rest and digesting all those extra calories from oil wouldn’t help! Want to know delicious oil-free ideas? Read on:
1. Phulka with Tamata Muthia Nu Shak (Tomato and Dumpling Curry):
This is a Gujarathi tomato curry made with dumplings, completely oil free. Though the original recipe requires some amount of oil – this one requires no oil and the muthia (dumpling) is steamed and not fried. To make oil-free Tamata Muthia Nu Shak, start by making the muthia dumplings. Mix gram flour, wheat flour, turmeric powder, red chili powder, cumin seeds, ginger-garlic paste, baking soda, and salt. Knead into a firm dough, shape into dumplings, and steam for 15-20 minutes. In a non-stick pan, dry roast cumin seeds and mustard seeds, then add onions, tomatoes, green chilies, turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, and salt. Cook until tomatoes are soft, mash lightly, and add the steamed dumplings. Sprinkle garam masala, simmer for 5 minutes, and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with oil-free phulka. To make phulka, combine whole wheat flour, water, and optional salt to form a soft dough. Knead for 5-7 minutes until smooth. Divide into small balls, roll each into thin circles, and cook on a hot tawa until bubbles appear. Flip and cook briefly, then transfer to an open flame to puff up. Remove from the flame, optionally brush with ghee, and repeat with the remaining dough. Serve warm with curry or side dishes.
2. Red Lentil Soup:
It’s a comforting and healthy meal, and a light dinner option to end your day with. To make oil-free red lentil soup, sauté chopped onion, carrots, celery, and minced garlic in a pot. Add cumin powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder, and optional cayenne pepper, stirring for a minute. Add rinsed red lentils, vegetable broth, and water. Bring to a boil, then simmer covered for 20-25 minutes until lentils and vegetables are tender. Blend about half of the soup to create a creamy texture. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot, garnished with fresh cilantro (coriander leaves). Customize with additional vegetables or spices if desired. Enjoy the comforting and healthy oil-free red lentil soup.
3. Beetroot Salad:
Simple, easy to make, and literally takes no time if you had a hectic day at work. To make an oil-free beetroot salad, grate cooked and peeled beetroots into a bowl. Add sliced red onion, diced cucumber, diced apple, chopped parsley, and optional walnuts. Squeeze lemon juice over the salad, season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Let it sit for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Serve this refreshing and nutritious beetroot salad as a side dish or a light meal. Customize by adding additional vegetables, herbs, or seeds as desired.
4. Baba Ganoush with 100% Whole Wheat Pita Bread:
It’s a Mediterranean dish which has the rich flavor of roasted eggplant and aromatic spices, and cooked without adding any oil. It’s a delicious and nutritious dip as well that you can enjoy with 100% whole wheat pita bread. To make oil-free Baba Ghanoush, prick and roast two large eggplants in a 400°F (200°C) oven until softened and charred. Scoop out the flesh and drain in a colander for 10-15 minutes. In a blender, combine the drained eggplant flesh with minced garlic, tahini (paste made from roasted sesame seeds), lemon juice, cumin powder, and salt. Blend until smooth. Adjust the tahini, lemon juice, and salt to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve this flavorful and healthy dip with pita bread or fresh vegetables for a satisfying snack or appetizer. It may look the same as baingan ka barta but the spices and ingredients used in both recipes are different. Baingan Ka Bharta, is a traditional Indian dish where roasted eggplant is mashed and cooked with onions, tomatoes, spices, and sometimes other vegetables like peas or bell peppers.
5. Nachni Roti/Ragi Roti with Sweet Potato Chickpea Curry:
Ragi roti, also known as finger millet flatbread, is highly nutritious. Ragi is rich in dietary fiber and helps keep you feeling full for longer periods. It is also packed with essential minerals like calcium, iron, and phosphorus. Ragi has a lower glycemic index compared to refined grains, meaning it releases glucose into the bloodstream at a slower rate. Ragi is relatively higher in protein compared to other grains, also has antioxidants. Pair it with this equally nutritious sweet potato chickpea curry to get protein and other vitamins. Now to make oil-free Sweet Potato Chickpea Curry, sauté diced onions in a large non-stick pot until translucent. Add minced garlic, grated ginger, diced sweet potatoes, curry powder, cumin, turmeric, coriander, cayenne pepper (optional), and salt. Stir well to coat the sweet potatoes in the spices. Pour in diced tomatoes and coconut milk, then simmer for 15-20 minutes until the sweet potatoes are tender. Add rinsed chickpeas and cook for 5 more minutes. Adjust the seasoning and garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve this flavorful curry with rice, quinoa, or bread for a satisfying meal. Also read: “Why is Ragi Roti Better than Wheat Roti?”
6. Bajra Na Rotla with Oil-free Cauliflower Sweet Potato Curry:
Bajra na Rotla, also called pearl millet roti, is a good source of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals, just like ragi. Talking about the curry, cauliflower and sweet potato are the main ingredients. This flavorful and comforting curry is packed with nutritious ingredients and makes for a satisfying and healthy meal. To make oil-free Cauliflower Sweet Potato Curry, sauté onions in a large non-stick pot until translucent. Add minced garlic, grated ginger, cauliflower florets, and cubed sweet potatoes. Pour in diced tomatoes and coconut milk. Sprinkle curry powder, cumin, turmeric, coriander, cayenne pepper (optional), and salt. Simmer covered for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Adjust the seasoning, garnish with cilantro, and serve over rice or bread. Enjoy this flavorful and nutritious curry without the use of oil.
7. Peanut Salad:
To make a peanut salad for dinner, combine mixed salad greens, sliced vegetables, cherry tomatoes, fresh cilantro or parsley, and roasted peanuts in a large bowl. Drizzle with your choice of dressing, such as a peanut dressing or vinaigrette, and toss to coat. Adjust the seasoning if needed. Enjoy the flavorful and nutritious peanut salad as a main dish or as a side for your dinner. Optional toppings like avocado, grilled chicken, or tofu can be added for extra variation.
Summing up, opting for oil-free dinners can help cut down loads of calories apart from providing several benefits for your health. Also, for more such weight loss recipes and meal plans, subscribe to the Rati Beauty diet to lose weight successfully and fast.