Is Indian Food Gluten-Free?
Indian food is naturally gluten-free. However, if you’re trying to avoid gluten, there are plenty of options available. Many restaurants offer gluten-free options, and most grocery stores carry gluten-free products.
You can easily find gluten-free options at any restaurant. Just ask for the menu and look for items that say “gluten-free”. Some restaurants may charge extra for gluten-free meals, but others offer them for free.
Make sure to check the ingredients list carefully. Ingredients that are commonly used in gluten-containing foods include barley malt, malted barley, oats, rye, spelled, triticale, wheat, wheat bran, wheat germ, wheat starch, wheat flour, wheat protein concentrate, wheat protein isolate, and yeast.
What Exactly Is Gluten? Who Must Stay Away From It?
Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, rice, oats, and barley. It’s the main ingredient in bread, pasta, pizza crust, crackers, cookies, cakes, and beer.
Some people may experience symptoms after eating foods containing gluten, including stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea, gas, nausea, fatigue, headache, depression, joint pain, skin rashes, eczema, hair loss, weight gain, and mouth sores.
People with celiac disease must stay away from gluten at all costs. Celiac disease causes damage to the small intestine and prevents proper digestion of nutrients. People with celiac disease cannot tolerate any form of gluten.
Some people may experience symptoms after ingesting gluten, including stomach pain and bloating. However, it’s not necessary or recommended to stay away from gluten unless you have allergies or celiac disease.
However, if you do have celiac disease, there are plenty of gluten-free options available in Indian cuisine.
Are Indian Spices Free Of Gluten?
Indian spices are naturally gluten-free, but there are certain types of spices that may not be free of gluten. Asafoetida, Hing, and garam masala are common examples of spices that may contain gluten. However, most grocery stores sell pure spices that are gluten-free.
You should always check the ingredient list on any spice products you purchase. If you notice anything that looks suspiciously like wheat flour, steer clear of it. Also, if you find yourself unable to eat a specific food due to its gluten content, try substituting another similar product instead.
Tips For Preparing A Gluten-free Indian Meal
Gluten-free food options are becoming increasingly available in India. However, there are still plenty of restaurants that serve traditional popular dishes made with wheat flour. If you’re trying to avoid gluten, then you’ll want to look for gluten-free versions of traditional Indian meals.
Wheat flour is used in most Indian recipes, including bread, pastas, cakes, cookies, pizzas, etc. So if you’re avoiding gluten, you’ll want to find alternatives to wheat flour.
One option is to try using rice, quinoa, or corn flour instead. You can also make gluten-free flatbread with maize flour (makkai ka atta) or simply omit the wheat flour altogether.
Asafoetida is another ingredient that is commonly found in Indian cuisine. While it does add flavor, it’s not recommended for those who suffer from celiac disease. There are several brands of gluten-free asafoetida available online.
Indian Dishes That Are Gluten-Free
Here is a list of Indian flavorful dishes that are free from gluten ingredients:
Poha is a delicious gluten-free Indian flatbread that is traditionally served at breakfast. It’s made from flattened rice that’s fried with turmeric, chilies, onions, mustard seeds, etc. You can serve it with eggs, veggies, meats, sauces, etc.
You’ll find poha in most restaurants serving Indian food, especially those catering to Western tastes. This original recipe has a bunch of healthy ingredients to make it healthier and tastier.
Poha is naturally gluten-free and is great for anyone following a gluten-free diet. It’s also very versatile and you can eat it plain, add toppings, or mix it with vegetables, meat, sauce, etc.
While gluten-free diets are becoming increasingly common, there are still plenty of foods out there that are safe for those with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance. One of the most common types of gluten-free perfect side dishes is Bajra Roti, which is a thick flatbread made from millet flour.
Millet is a grain native to India that grows easily in dry climates. Millet is used to making rice substitutes, including bajra roti. These rotis are denser than regular rotis and require less oil to cook. Because they are thicker, they hold onto moisture longer and become softer after cooking.
These rotis are great alternatives to wheat rotis, especially if you prefer to avoid gluten. You can find pre-made rotis at grocery stores, specialty shops, and online retailers.
This plain dosa recipe for gluten-free comes straight from the kitchen of Chef Raghavendra Rao at his restaurant, Koshy’s Corner. He says that he uses brown rice flour instead of white rice flour, and adds that if you don’t have any, you can substitute regular whole wheat flour.
Rice flour is used to make the batter, and the batter is poured onto a hot skillet. Once the batter starts to cook, flip it over and let it continue cooking until golden brown.
You can serve it with a variety of toppings, including potatoes, onions, tomatoes, green peas, coriander leaves, cilantro, tamarind sauce, coconut milk, etc.
These Indian savory dishes are great alternatives if you’re trying to avoid gluten. They’re inexpensive, delicious, and filling. You’ll find them at street stands and restaurants throughout India.
They’re made by taking vegetables or paneers and coating them in spice-filled chickpea flour and then frying them. These are usually served as appetizers or between main meals.
Gluten-free Indian dishes are delicious, especially when served alongside a spicy sauce or gravy. Papadums are crispy lentils or black-gram crackers that are traditionally eaten alongside a meal. These gluten-free snacks are perfect for dipping into sauces and toppings.
Asafoetida is an essential ingredient in most Indian colorful dishes. It gives food its unique flavor and aroma. However, it should not be consumed by those with Celiac disease. Ask your server if the papadums were made with asafetida before consumption.
A vegetarian thali was a great option for me. Thalis are metal trays filled with small metal cups that hold a variety of food dishes. You’ll find them at Indian restaurants everywhere. A typical thali consists of vegetable curry, lentil soup, rice, yogurt, pickles, and chutneys.
Depending on the style of thalis (Bengali versus Punjab versus Rajasthan and so many others), your options will vary. However, overall, a vegetarian thali is a safe bet for anyone with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
Lassi is a traditional Indian beverage made from yogurt mixed with water and spices. Lassi is usually served either savory or sweet, depending on whether it’s being used as a snack or dessert.
You’ll find lassis at street stalls throughout India, where they are sold alongside snacks like samosas and pakoras.
This Indian perfect dish is gluten-free, and it’s delicious! You’ll find it everywhere in northern India, especially in Bikaner. It’s made from chickpea flour, and it’s spicy and savory. It’s great for snacking, and it keeps you feeling fuller longer.
Pre-packaged bhujiya is also available throughout the country in foil bags, and they too are gluten-free. Be sure to ask if it’s 100% gram flour, though, since there are plenty of brands out there that claim to be gluten-free but actually aren’t.
You’ll find it everywhere in India, including restaurants, hotels, and homes. Biryani is traditionally served with chicken, mutton, or fish, but you can easily substitute any protein of your choice.
While biryani is typically cooked with lots of spices, you can still enjoy it without the extra spice if you’d rather. A vegetarian version is called pulao, and it’s similar to biryani except that it doesn’t include meat. Instead, it uses vegetables instead of meat.
Regardless of whether you eat biryani or pulao, you should definitely try it sometime. Both dishes are delicious and gluten-free!
Dals are filling, nutritious and inexpensive. They are a great way to add protein to your diet without spending a fortune. Dals are available in many varieties, including red lentils, green lentils, brown lentils, split peas, chickpeas, moong beans, masoor dal, urad dal, black gram dal, Bengal gram dal, pigeon pea dal, etc.
You can find deals in most grocery stores, Indian markets, and online retailers. You can buy them dried or canned. Some days are cooked and others are soaked overnight and then boiled. There are many gluten-free recipes using dals, ranging from simple curries to complex desserts.
There are plenty of gluten-free Indian dishes that are delicious and healthy. One of our favorites is the halal grilled meat spot. These restaurants have a wide selection of meats that are cooked on the grill after being marinated in various sauces.
We loved the green mint and chili sauce chicken, the masala spiced wings, and the spicy lamb kebabs. None of the meats contained any wheat in their marination, and we were sure that we asked repeatedly if there was anything else we should avoid.
What Are Some Indian Dishes That Are Not Gluten-Friendly?
Here is a list of foods that should be strictly forbidden for people who suffer from celiac disease, even if they look absolutely delicious.
Indian bread is not gluten-free. Rotis, chappatis, and naans are made with flour containing gluten. Puris are made with rice flour, which is naturally gluten-free. However, if you eat rotis, chappatis, or naans regularly, you may develop celiac disease.
Hing is a natural ingredient that is commonly found in Indian cuisine. It’s a powerful flavor enhancer that adds depth to food without overpowering it.
Asafoetida is a common gluten ingredient in Indian cooking, especially in South Asian cuisines. However, it’s not safe to eat raw, so it should only be added at the end of cooking.
Indian cuisine is famous for its delicious dishes. One of those potato dishes is samosas. Samosas are triangular-shaped pastries made with dough stuffed with potatoes, peas, and spices. You’ll find them at street vendors and in restaurants across India.
They’re usually served hot, but if you’d prefer them cold, you can easily reheat them in the microwave. Just wrap them in foil and heat them in the oven for 10 minutes.
This favorite recipe calls for a gluten-free bread called pav bhaji. You can find it at most grocery stores, including Whole Foods Market. It’s made from rice flour instead of wheat flour, so it’s safe for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
Kachoris are crisp fried popular snacks made from chickpea flour batter. They are usually served at weddings and festivals in India. Kachoris are not gluten-free, so if you’re avoiding gluten, you’ll want to avoid eating them.
However, there are plenty of delicious alternatives to traditional kachoris. You can find gluten-free versions of most dishes in India, including rice, lentil, potato, and vegetable options.
Dal Baati Churma
It’s a popular breakfast gluten dish made from lentils, a baked loaf of bread, and powdered grain cereal. As mentioned above, this is not gluten-free. However, there are plenty of delicious gluten-free alternatives available.
Poori is a traditional dish from India that is not gluten-free. Poori is a leavened fried bread that is usually served at breakfast. It’s made with whole wheat flour, salt, water and ghee (clarified butter), and sometimes eggs. Poori is typically served warm, although it can also be served cold.
You’ll find that sevian is usually served on special occasions, such as weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries. It’s a traditional gluten-containing sweet dish pair that is enjoyed throughout India. It’s typically served warm, but it can also be chilled if desired.
Indian cuisine is known for its delicious dishes. One of the most famous dishes is jalebis. Jalebis are round, bright orange sweets made with fried dough. They look so good, but unfortunately, they’re not gluten-free.
Jalebis are usually served at festivals and celebrations. You’ll find them everywhere from street vendors to restaurants. They come in various flavors, including sweetened mango, coconut, pistachio, cardamom, saffron, rose water, etc.
Hey'all I'm Amy, a born foodie and diagnosed with celiac disease 7 years ago. I refused to cave into tasteless, boring gulten free food and create my own!
On my blog you'll find info & cool facts along with recipes, all on gluten free foods!