“We must taste food, not spices,” was the core message during the Oil-Free Workshop help in Andheri West on 3 August 2014.
“What types of oil are healthy?” asked Dr Rupa Shah to a rapt audience, who had braved the rainy morning to attend the workshop from all over Mumbai.
“The answer is oil in cooking is not healthy.” Dr Shah’s always makes it a point to emphasize the importance of eliminating oil from one’s regular diet.
Oil Vs Water
She drove the point home by demonstrating an oil free tadka, to prove her point that we don’t require oil to fry, even as a delicious aroma wafted across the room. Many of the dishes demonstrated made use of dry tadka and water based frying to replace oil based cooking.
The participants were quizzed about the oils they used and enlist those available in Indian market, followed by asking which oils are healthy. As audience called out a long list of varieties and brands, she went on to explain all oils are considered processed food as fiber is removed. Thus, no oil is healthy as it is not whole food, and stated, “All oil is bad.”
Cooking The Point Home
The doctor continued to illustrate by demonstrating a series of delicious recipes like french beans poriyal, pau bhaji, pizza, dips and jams with the help of Dulari Shah and Charul Shah that floored the roomful of participants that day.
While the demo continued, showed various methods of doing tadka without oil and revealed several kitchen techniques that were developed after years of trials and errors.
As the workshop continued, the audience was privy to sampling the dished from the live demo to illustrate that oil free cooking is rich with flavour as compared to standard oil based cooking. On the contrary, oil free cooking enables one to savour the vegetables in the dish. Dr Rupa Shah and her team demonstrated the same, while running the participants through the nuances of cooking eg to run the blender until the peanut butter displays a particular texture, how long to steam the veggies etc.
Seed Of Thought
Refined oil is not healthy was the core message of the workshop. Dr Rupa Shah had put on display a range of seeds and explained that natural fats from seeds do not stick to your body. However, processed fats like oils, especially refined edible oils are harmful and are full of transfats. Refined oil is already full of toxins, and when you further heat it to season it for cooking, the substance become a kind of toxins that can increase the chances of cancer in our bodies and turn into flab that tough to shed over a period of time.
The session ended with a hearty meal for the participants, many of whom expressed surprise at not being aware oil free cooking is possible. This workshop proved to be an eye-opener for any in that sense.