First it was sugar free-sweeteners. Then came fat-free cooking. Now, even better, we have oil-free cooking. Unbelievable? Not quite, says celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor.
All set to release his newest cookbook Oil-free Cooking, Kapoor claims it is very much possible to make your daily dal, sabzi, curries and even pasta, without so much as a drop of oil.
Healthy or low-cal cooking is fairly popular, but oil-free cooking methods are relatively less known. “Using less oil is a good option but ‘less’ is a relative term. It could range from one teaspoon to four. So oil-free cooking is a healthier alternative,” he says.
Sounds easy, but is it really possible? “Traditionally, Indians needed to cook food in lots of oil because of the vessels they used. Food has a tendency to get stuck at the bottom of the kadhai if there is not enough oil. But much has changed with technology,” says Kapoor.
“The idea is to let food cook in its natural fat.” Kapoor suggests simple alternatives like using non-stick cookware, baking, stewing and grilling.
The master chef says while it is a good idea to absorb a few tips from traditional cooking, certain processes need to be changed, especially the idea that ‘more oil means more taste’.
“In pre-refrigerator days, oil was used generously to increase the shelflife of a dish. But we continue to do so even now.”
But like all good things, even oil-free cooking has its downside. Banning oil completely from the menu could result in dandruff, skin and neurological diseases, among other things.
(Sanjeev Kapoor’s Oil-free Cooking (Popular Prakashan, Rs 295) is released at Crossword on Friday at 6 pm).