Gluten is a protein present in wheat and related grains including barley and rye. For people suffering from celiac disease, strict gluten free diet should be consumed. There is health benefit on eating gluten free diet for general population. Celiac is an autoimmune disease which attacks small intestine due to presence of gluten. It causes inflammation of the intestine leading to a possibility of damage. Only 1% of adult suffers from this disease but due to rare occurrence only 5 to 10% of cases are diagnosed. A daily gluten intake of less than 10 mg is not harmful and does not cause any abnormalities. It is important to have knowledge of the food which contains gluten and the food which is gluten free, so that one can enjoy them as a part of their modified diet.
How gluten is the culprit
Gluten is spongy, and gives food the elastic ability to hold together. It is found in pasta, cookies, pizzas, bread etc and interferes with the absorption of nutrients. Today most of the people are suffering from celiac disease, which is an autoimmune disorder caused by gluten indigestion, leading to diarrhoea, indigestion and osteoporosis. When a person suffering from celiac disease eats or drinks anything containing gluten, the immune system responds by damaging lining of intestine. Celiac disease is often mistaken for an eating disorder. The other culprit is the modern diet enriched with wheat products which in turn leads to increased production of gluten.
Below is some Indian food which lacks gluten protein-
Maida based desserts should be avoided because it is made up of wheat. Rasmalai is a good dessert made up of cottage cheese and thickened milk which is gluten free. Gulab jamun is also the best gluten free option. The dessert features balls of milk curd, flavoured with cardamom and saffron, which are served with sugar syrup. Rice pudding dishes should be taken in and wheat pudding dessert should be avoided.
Rice, maize are good gluten free Indian foods. Wheat and rye should not be consumed. Dumplings made of wheat cereals should be avoided. Naan, roti, chapati, poori and paratha should be avoided. These types of food articles are made with wheat flour. Wheat free flat bread is the safest choice. Dosa is safe. To get gluten free diet any type of rice should be taken. Indian cuisine typically steamed white rice or basmati rice is the safest.
Fresh vegetables don’t contain any gluten and almost all traditional Indian vegetables are gluten free. Biryani made with egg plant, saffron and rice. Dal is made with lentils and yellow split peas so gluten free. Aloo gobhi a blend of potato and cauliflower is gluten free. Pakoras made with lentil flower is a safe gluten free option. Raita, made up of Yogurt and cucumber or pumpkin is also a very good gluten free Indian food.
Some more gluten-free Indian food
Some more foods are beans, seed and nuts in their natural and unprocessed form serves good. Fresh eggs, fresh meat, poultry are also good. Batter should not be coated, breaded or marinated. Fresh fruits and vegetables lack gluten protein. Most dairy products should also be taken such as milk, cheese, butter, ghee etc.
Foods which should be avoided
Barley should not be taken. Malt, malt flavouring and malt vinegar are generally made from barley. Rye is very rich in gluten protein, so it should be avoided. Triticale, a hybrid product formed from the cross between wheat and rye should not be consumed. Any product containing wheat cereal should be avoided as much as possible. Salad dressing and soy sauce should be prohibited.
Beverages or drink containing wheat, barley and rye should also be avoided by person suffering from celiac disease.
There are many substitutes to wheat products which are both tasty and delicious. Some of the substitute products are bajra, jowar, ragi, singhada atta, whitepoha, kurmura and sabudana. Alternative grain such as soya, Quinoa, corn flour, millets, arrowroot, and amaranth and rice flour goes with the gluten free diet. Milk can be replaced with almond and coconut milk, and quinoa a cereal which is used to prepare upma and kheer.
Soups and stews
Several soups and stews are gluten free choices. Tomato soup is water based containing coconut milk and ghee. Dal is a good stew containing variety of fried vegetables and spices, which lacks gluten. Another very good legume dish is channa masala. The base of this stew is chickpea, Spinach and a variety of Indian spices.
Dairy items and Sea food
Although Indian food is mostly vegetarian, there is achari fish tikka marinated with yogurt and Indian spices, which is devoid of gluten protein. Rohu fish and prawn fish, marinated in Indian spices are gluten free. Most of fishes such as hilsa and trout are gluten free.