Thursday, February 15, 2007

Zero Oil Cooking

Thank you for the tremendous response that I have been getting from my dear fans. This one is just for all of you……….all health freaks! I am sure you will love this too and if you really do, keep me motivated by sending your responses like you always do.
Does taste and health go hand in hand? Yes it does! This recipe is a perfect example of what I am talking about, this yummy and tasty looking recipe is more than just being delicious. Surprising as it may sound, this recipe is made without a drop of oil; yes it is a ZERO OIL RECIPE!
Let me tell you, zero oil cooking is a skill, which I mastered as I wrote these books and I am sure you too can master it through practice and patience. However, making zero oil recipes was not easy too, it’s not just about eliminating oil from your regular recipes and cooking them, in fact it involved thorough research and effort. Along with my team of chefs and nutritionists I developed an appropriate method of cooking, chose the right ingredients, used them in the correct proportions and it is after immense research and trials I could compile these books. I’m presenting you with a series of Zero Oil cookbooks, of which, “Zero Oil Dal -Chawal” is the third that is to be realised in February 2007.

Really, this collection of your favourite recipes cooked without oil is sure will change the pre-conceived notion about having to essentially add oodles of oil to make Indian cooking tasty, and to help you make your family’s meal times healthier and happier!
Just to get you stated with this new style of cooking here’s a zero oil recipe especially for all my health conscious chefs…


Jalfraize is a combination of veggies flavoured with a sweet and sour gravy. The USP of this recipe however is the brown rice. Since it is not milled, its outer covering or bran that is rich in fibre is kept intact, making it a healthy and heart-friendly ingredient. It is good for weight-watchers too. Brown rice requires more water and takes more time to cook as compared to normal rice and so you need a little patience while preparing this recipe. Yet, believe me; every minute spent is worth it!

Preparation Time: 20 minutes. Cooking Time: 25 minutes. Serves 4.
Baking temperature: 200ºC (400ºC). Baking time: 15 minutes.

For the brown rice
1¼ cups uncooked brown rice
Salt to taste

For the jalfraize
¼ cup sliced spring onions (including greens)
¼ cup sliced capsicum
¼ cup sliced mushrooms (khumbh)
1 cup boiled mixed vegetables (sliced baby corn, sliced carrots, cauliflower florets, sweet corn etc.)
½ cup tomato slices
¼ cup tomato purée
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp cornflour mixed with ½ cup water
½ tsp sugar
A pinch of turmeric powder (haldi)
1 tsp chilli powder
½ tsp garam masala
1 tsp coriander-cumin seed (dhania-jeera) powder
Salt to taste

Other ingredients
2 tbsp low fat milk
2 tbsp finely chopped spring onions greens for the garnish

For the brown rice
1. Mix the rice with 4 cups of hot water and salt and pressure cook for 3 whistles.
2. Allow the steam to escape before opening the lid the lid. Remove and keep aside.

For the jalfraize
1. Heat a non-stick pan, add the onions and capsicum, and dry roast for 2 minutes stirring continuously.
2. Add the mushrooms, mixed vegetables and tomatoes and dry roast for 1 minute.
3.Mix together ¼ cup tomato purée, tomato ketchup, vinegar, orn flour paste, sugar, turmeric powder, chilli powder, garam masala, coriander-cumin seed powder and salt in a bowl.
4.Add this mixture to the vegetables, mix well and simmer on a slow flame for 5 minutes till the gravy thickens and coats the vegetables.

How to proceed
1.Divide the brown rice into 2 equal portions and keep aside.
2. Put the milk at the bottom of a glass baking tray and spread one portion of the brown rice in an even layer and then spread the jalfrazie over it.
3. Spread the remaining brown rice over it an even layer.
4. Cover with an aluminium foil and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200°C (400°F) for 10 minutes or microwave for 2 minutes. Ensure you do not use aluminium foil while microwaving, as it may be cause a spark.
5. Turn upside down on a large serving plate just before serving.
Serve hot garnished with spring onions greens.

Nutritive value per serving
Energy : 293 calories
Protein : 1.5 gm
Carbohydrates : 17.8 gm
Invisible fat : 0.2 gm
Calcium : 40.6 mg
Folic acid : 21.6 mcg

Turn on your chef's cap, whip this recipe and write to me how it turned out.


starry said...

Me first.I cannot believe a recipe with zero oil.I am certainly going to try this.I am always looking out for healthy recipes to feed my family.thank you so much for sharing.

jacob said...

thanks Tarla, I'm a big fan of yours and this recipe does not disappoint. will be back for more.

Sri said...

Wow a recipe with no oil...have to try it...Thanks for sharing it us ma'am.

J said...

I am a ig fan of your recipes Tarlaji. I have many of your books which I refer to often. This is a wonderful oil free recipe, wil have to try it out soon! Thakyou so much for sharing it with us.:)

TNL said...

This is a nice recipe..Brown rice is somewhat of an acquired taste...but I, for one, Love it. Will definetely try this. Bahu saras recipe che.


Revathi said...

Welcome Madam!! All your inbox is going to be overflowing with comments from your admirers like me.

Lakshmik said...

Namaste Tarlaji. I have been your fan for many years now. I remember I got my first cookbook 'The pleasures of vegetarian cooking' more than 15 years ago when I was in middle school. I am glad I can communicate with you through this blog and try out your new recipes.

Viji said...

Welcome to this blog world Tarlaji. Very nice presentation and will definitely give try and let you know. Many will be benefited through your blog. Have a good day. Viji

Krithika said...

What a great way to interact with your fans ! A recipe with zero oil... lovely

Anonymous said...

Hmm... I am sorry to have to write this comment. As someone who suffered from hyper cholesterol and determined to lower it, I went on a zero-fat diet only to find it not help at all. And I squarely blame Dr Dean Ornish's zero fat cooking for that experience.

Now my total cholesterol is around 145 with good LDL/HDL ratio and other markers for CHD are in good range. What I have learnt in the last 15 years is this: our bodies need carbs, fat and protein. It also needs a regular and moderate exercise. For some, additional help in the form of medication maybe necessary. It can be that simple.

Ms Dalal, I have the highest regard for you and request you to consider the message you are sending. Zero oil does not equate healthy choice and I would ask you to read some scholarly articles on nutrition and consult a few of them for an informed opinion on this. A diet high in carbs and low in healthy fats, tricks the body adversely and elevates triglycerides. Surely, you must know the the healthy benefits of olive oil, walnuts, fatty fish and avocado fat. If you could research and write a blog on this, you would be doing a lot of people a lot of good!


Tarla Dalal said...

Dear Ananymous :

It is good to know that more and more people are becoming aware about the ill-effects of obesity, and realising the importance of eating healthy. We often think that eating less and dieting are the best and fastest ways to achieve that perfect hour-glass figure! Although eating less is also essential, it is more important to make the right choices of foods and eat them in moderation.

Along with restricting the intake of high-calorie foods, junk foods, sugary foods etc. we also often abstain totally from the consumption of oil and ghee. Although considered as the biggest culprit causing weight gain, heart disorders and various other health problems like high blood pressure, cholesterol etc., fats and oils, you will be surprised to know, are actually a good source of energy and aid absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like A, E, D and K as well as provide lubrication to joints. Hence removing it drastically from our diet not only makes us fall prey to various vitamin and mineral deficiencies but also invites digestive problems, joint pains etc. This is the reason why nutritionists and health experts advise people to consume 3-4 teaspoons of oil + ghee per day, which most of us find difficult to balance.

Hence I, along with my qualified team of chefs and nutritionists planned zero oil recipes after a thorough research to help all you health conscious to make healthier food choices without compromising on taste. The whole idea behind coming up with these new titles is not to totally preclude the intake of oil and ghee from your diet but just to restrict it to the prescribed limit per day and help balance your daily calorie intake. But remember that just because you have discovered a bounty of zero oil recipes does not mean that you should cook only these and remove all oil from your cooking!

In fact, the ideal way is to include a few zero-oil dishes as part of your daily food intake and continue with the rest as usual. For example, if you choose a zero-oil dal and chawal on a day then opt for a zero-oil snack or a subzi the next day along with you regular meals. Explore other recipes in my newly released titles - Zero Oil Rotis and Subzis and Zero Oil Soups, Salads and Snacks. This helps you to enjoy both your favourite dishes and good health without worrying about an increasing waistline.

Anonymous said...

Tarlaji thanks for explaining in detail the requirement of intake of all foods in moderation .

Sups said...

dear tarlaji,

for the last three years i have been trying your recipes and have become an ardent fan... as i get so many compliments on everything that i make from your many cookbooks that i have started buying obsessively! the last three that i have bought are baked dishes, stir fry cooking and zero oil (which, i admit, i have yet to experiment with). each issue of cooking and more is like a 'bible' for me, and i wish you would make it a monthly as the wait is just too long for the next issue. just wanted to thank you once again (and my husband and son join me, as they are the lucky recepients of the goodies) for making me into a 'super chef'!

Unknown said...

The recipe seems to be quite interesting and I will definately try it out........ I agree with you, that one has to make the right choices in selecting food and as you have rightly said, oil should not be totally eradicated from one's diet but the quantity should be reduced substantially......

Anonymous said...

Hi Tarla.. U wont believe it! I made plain brown rice for the first time yesterday just our of curiosity but did nto like it much with the regular sabzis.. so was thinking what to do with the pot of unused cook rice.. Now i definitly know what to do with it.. I 'll try our the recipe and I'm sure it will be great :-)

Monika said...

i have bought ur book zero oil cooking and tried the kofta and shahi aloo rec in that and both turned out amazing... couldnt believe myself

Unknown said...

sounds like a good recipe Tarla ji! Will try it out and get back to you

san said...

i have tried vadapav. really amaiseing.

Mansi said...

I don't think I could stay on zero-oil recipes for too long, but sure get the message! olive oil and fat/cholestrol free food is something everyone should use...thnaks for the great recipe too:)

Anonymous said...

dear anonymous,

zero oil cooking very clearly means not adding any oil while cooking, it definitely helps for those people who want to reduce weight and also for people who have heart problems, cholesterol issues.....

tarla dalal has never said anything about restricting olive oil( which needs to be taken raw, uncooked) also nuts like walnuts, almonds .....

Also Dr ornish( i am a big fan of dr ornish)his approach doesnt invlove only reducing fat intake but also changing the way we live like the open your heart program, including yoga ...what i mean to say is if done in the right way can be great in reducing your overall cholesterol level

following a low carb diet/ high protein diet(atkins diet) only leads to high cholesterol levels...its a recipe for health wonder atkins had such an early death

friends please include complex carbs, in addition 1 teaspoon of olive oil or an ounce of walnuts or almonds ...and lots of fruits and veg in your diet

kindly understand whats written before posting your comments

colorsplash said...

hello Tarlaji.
i too have been added to your fan list but m dissappointed with 1 thing that i cannot enjoy all your recepies.
Due to high insulin levels, i have to be strickly on a LOW-CARB JAIN DIET...this was too shocking to me...its just the 2nd year of my wedding and i wonder if i can eat some junk,some unhealthy meals.
Hope to know from you abt low-carb diet book which i can buy or recepies for my daily diet plan.
My life in d kitchen is at a STILL..hope i will get back with a bang thru your help.
Thx so much Tarlaji n looking forward to get some help from u.

Tarla Dala said...

Dear Colorsplash:

Thank you for your mail.
Diabetes is a lifelong condition that can be managed with careful diet control and proper medication under your physician’s supervision.
Dietary modification is an important aspect in the management of diabetes. In fact there is no substitute for good diet control. The success of any therapy for diabetes depends on the eating habits of that individual. What you eat and when you eat is extremely important.
Just keep the following points in mind.
• Make the right choices for food preparations at home. Eg use of whole grains, legumes, sprouts. Less use of simple sugars and lesser sweet fruits, use of less oil etc.
• Modify the recipes a little. Eg use of sweetners in sweet dishes, use of fibre rich flours for chappati preparations etc. Small modifications would not evn alter the taste.
• Don’t stay hungry and eat every 2 -3 hrs.
• When eating out choose the healthier options. Eg Tandoori roti vegetables over naans and cream based gravies. You could also complement the food with beverages like soups, juices, buttermilk for faster fullness.
• Do not overeat at any point of time. You could eat most of the tasty snacks and foods in limited amounts at home and outside.
• Opt for the healthier cooking methods. Eg use of non-stick cookware. Bake, steam or sauté instead of shallow frying and deep frying, Use of pressure cooker to cook vegetables.
So some modifications in eating habits are very helpful for every individual with diabetes.
I am sure you will be happy to know we have cookbooks called "Delicious Diabetic Recipes", "Diabetic Snacks" and "Good Food for Diabetes" "Exotic Diabetic cooking" and "Healthy diabetic cookbook" “Low calorie healthy cooking” “Non fried snacks”. These are a complete guide for diabetics and have many tasty recipes. This book is locally available in bookstores and you can also buy it online on our website.
To shop on our website, firstly you have to be a member. Click on to get register on You can be a Gold/ Silver/ Regular member on

Here are few recipes specially for you. Hope you like them.

Suggested Serving Size Per Person: 1 small pancake with 1 tbsp carrot garlic chutney

Preparation time: 20 minutes. Cooking time: 40 minutes. Makes 4 small pancakes. Soaking time: 1 hour.

1 cup buckwheat (kutto / kutti no daro)
¼ cup sour low fat curds (dahi), page..... mixed with 2 tbsp water
½ cup grated white pumpkin (lauki / doodhi)
1 tsp ginger-green chilli paste
2 tbsp chopped coriander (dhania)
A pinch turmeric powder (haldi)
1 tsp fruit salt (optional)
1 tsp mustard seeds (rai / sarson)
A pinch asafoetida (hing)
Salt to taste
1 tsp oil

For serving
4 tbsp Carrot Garlic Chutney, page….

1. Wash the buckwheat once and combine it with the curds in a large bowl and mix well. Allow it to stand for 1 hour.
2. Coarsely grind the buckwheat and curds mixture in a mixer and keep aside.
3. Add the white pumpkin, ginger-green chilli paste, coriander, turmeric powder and salt and mix well. Keep the batter aside.
4. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan and add the mustard seeds. When they crackle, add the asafoetida and pour into the batter.
5. Sprinkle the fruit salt on it and then a few drops of water on the fruit salt.
6. When the bubbles form, mix gently.
7. Pour ¼ of the batter on a non-stick pan and spread an even layer to make a pancake of 100 mm. (4”) diameter and cover the pan.
8. Allow it to cook for 5 to 7 minutes on a slow flame till the bottom is golden brown in colour.
9. Lift the pancake gently and turn it over to the other side.
10. Cook for another 4 to 5 minutes.
11. Repeat with remaining ingredients to make 3 more pancakes.
Serve hot with carrot garlic chutney.

Nutritive values per small pancake with 1 tbsp carrot garlic chutney:
Energy: 153 calories
Protein: 4.6 gm
Carbohydrates: 25.7 gm
Fat: 2.2 gm

Kit Kat said...

As someone who suffers from gallbladder issues, finding oil free recipes is a godsend. I try not to eat anything made with oil or cooked in oil; this is extremely difficult. I'm excited to try your recipes!!

Anonymous said...

I was searching on eBooks for a good book to help me get through my diet. In the end I googled it and found this site

They are giving away a free ebook called "365 tips for healthy living". I didn't expect it to be any good because it's free but it's actually brilliant so I thought i'd share it here :)

Unknown said...

I recently faced problem of ANGINA pain.Luckily, I came to know about Dr. Bimal Chajjer, MD ( who apply non-invasive methods for cardiac treatment. His 3days camp for awareness is quite popular where he demonstrates benefit of life-style improvement including food intake. Here he also demonstrates cooking with ZERO-OIL. He has written recipe books of ZERO OIL COOKING including one exclusive for South Indian dishes.

Unknown said...

Dear Tarlaji,
SImply superb is also very small word to appreciate you..i m big fan of yours..will surely try this once..thanks.

Shankar said...

Re: Anonymous' comments on Dean Ornish. In the book Reversing Heart Disease, Ornish proposes a holistic approach (zero added fat diet, exercise, yoga, meditation) by which patients suffering from coronary heart disease can reverse the condition without taking recourse to angioplasty or bypass surgery.

Ornish's coronary disease prevention program allows added fat in the diet based on one's body structure.

My Triglycerides is 282 and total cholesterol is 236 and I need to shed 8 Kgs. I'm changing my lifestyle to achieve desirable levels.

The diet allows me 15 grams (1 tablespoon) of added fat per day. Thanks to Ms Dalal's oil free recipes, people like us can eat nutritious and palatable Indian dishes.