I remember thinking when I was first diagnosed with coeliac disease that I could happily enjoy my gluten free diet as long as I didn’t have to miss out on curry… my favourite meal!
I do make my own curry, but sometimes when time is short I will cheat and use a sauce from a jar (I love the Lloyd Grossman Tikka Masala* or Pataks Madras*). My absolute favourite is a take away, we are very lucky that we have a fabulous Indian restaurant close to home (The Raj in Culcheth) and the food has always been spot on. It’s great being able to invite people over and enjoy their company but still get to eat great food that has been freshly prepared that everyone can enjoy!
Although most curry and rice should be naturally gluten free, always make sure you check before ordering. There are other things on the menu you will need to avoid. Unfortunately this can simply be due to the cooking process, for example chips, poppadum’s, onion bhajis would normally be gluten free but if they are then cooked in the same fat as things that contain gluten they become contaminated. Naan breads and chapatti’s would not be gluten free… however I have found the perfect solution… it just requires a little bit of home baking, but it means Naan bread, chapati, onion bhajis and poppadum’s can be back on the menu!
Before I was diagnosed with coeliac I used to love chapatis and had promised myself for ages that I would have a go at making my own. I speak to some lovely people on our advice line who rave about the results they get when using Juvela Gluten Free Fibre Mix to make their Chapati. Well finally I had a go and I cannot believe I waited so long!! They were so easy to make as they simply consist of mix, water and a little salt and the result was amazing, I just loved them and cannot wait to make them again! For a little extra flavour I added a little freshly chopped garlic to my oil when cooking them which enhanced the flavour. If you feel like doing a big batch of baking, these they will freeze really well and would be perfect heated through in the microwave for a few seconds or wrapped in foil and heated in the oven.
I do love poppadum’s as a starter and to make sure I don’t miss out I would simply buy ready prepared ones from the supermarket that everyone can share (so long as they were safe for coeliacs!). The chutney tray from the restaurant should be naturally gluten free, but it is always best to double check.
I hope the following recipes tempt you into making the perfect accompaniment to compliment your curry!!
Here are some suggestions for questions to ask before ordering food and/or eating in a restaurant or café:
- Are you able to cater for a gluten free diet?
- Do you have a separate fryer to prepare non-gluten and gluten-containing foods?
- Are the chips coated with any gluten-containing ingredients?
- Do you use separate pans/chopping boards/utensils to prevent cross contamination?
It is better to ask these questions prior to you planned meal, as you can then ensure you are confident in their replies before planning to eat there and make the experience a pleasurable one. I have found recommendations and gut instinct have always been the best way for me when choosing where to eat out.
Wishing you a Happy, Healthy Gluten free Easter!