Indian food is a good option for those who have to or want to avoid gluten. Lentils, vegetables and rice are popular ingredients in Indian cuisine, and while you might not be able to tuck into naan bread, there are plenty of popular dishes you can enjoy when eating out or ordering a takeaway. Here's an overview of five Indian dishes that are naturally gluten-free:
A dosa is a savoury crepe made with a combination of rice flour and lentil flour. Dosas are dry fried before being stuffed with a variety of fillings. Masala dosa consists of a potato and onion filling. The potatoes are cooked with green chillies, cumin, curry leaves, and fresh ginger. This popular South Indian dish is ideal for lunch and delicious with mango chutney.
This is a one-pot rice dish that's highly seasoned and served without any type of sauce. It's popular in both North and South India and is often eaten with a boiled egg and side salad. Basmati rice and chicken pieces are cooked in chicken stock and flavoured with a variety of spices. Cardamom, bay, cloves, cinnamon, turmeric, and ginger are popular biryani spices.
Tikka dishes originate from the Punjab region in Northwest India and consist of marinated meat, seafood or vegetables. The marinade has a yoghurt base that's seasoned with lemon juice, red chillies, garlic, ginger, and garam masala. Prawn tikka is a mild dish that's usually served with rice and raita.
Vegetable pakora are ideal as a starter or snack and are made by combining vegetables with chickpea flour, spices and a little water. The mixture is dropped into hot oil a tablespoon at a time and fried until golden brown and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Popular spices include cumin, turmeric and garam masala, and the hot pakora are served with a tomato and mint dipping sauce that can be quite fiery if it contains red chillies. Vegetables commonly used in pakora include cauliflower, peas, onion, aubergine, and spinach.
Thali is a selection of several small dishes that are served on a tray. It's the Indian equivalent of tapas and a good choice if you want to sample a wide range of flavours. Thali consists of a vegetable curry, a dal (lentil dish), a yoghurt sauce, pickled vegetables, rice, poppadoms, and a selection of chutneys. Poppadoms are thin, crispy flatbreads made with chickpea or lentil flour and are delicious topped with curried vegetables.
Next time you visit a local Indian restaurant or takeaway like Royal India Restaurant, give one of these dishes a try or ask your server what gluten-free dishes they would recommend.