Gluten Free in India Part IV: Dinner in India

Gluten Free Dinner in India

At home my staple Indian dishes are butter chicken, curry chicken, aloo gobi and vegetable biryani.  It’s funny how quickly butter chicken became boring in India.  I think I only ate it twice as there were so many other more delicious meals to try.  I am proud of how many different types of dishes I tried while in India.  Actually, during my trip I started asking Negi Chef to surprise me with the dinners he prepared me.  This was a fantastic way to try a wide variety of dishes and it really opened my eyes and taste buds to a whole new world of Indian dishes.  There are so many naturally gluten free dinner dishes in India. Here are some of my favourites:

Butter Chicken – boneless pieces of chicken cooked with smooth tomato gravy and finished with butter and cream

Butter Chicken – boneless pieces of chicken cooked with smooth tomato gravy and finished with butter and cream

A new dish I tried was Makai Palek, which is sweet corn kernels cooked with spinach and  garlic  It was served with kuttu ki puri, a buckwheat bread eaten during Navratri to break a fast, since rice, wheat and gram flour cannot be eaten during this time.  I was surprised when this was delivered to my room because whenever I saw flat bread I assumed that it would contain wheat and I shouldn’t eat it.

One of many 3:00 a.m. room service meals

One of many 3:00 a.m. room service meals

One of the most surprising meals I had was Baingan Bharta.  Eggplant cooked in the tandoor, which is then peeled and mushed up and cooked with onion, garlic, tomatoes, etc. This meal was brought to my room at 3:00 am when I arrived back from work and when I saw it I was so confused at what it was.  It really did not look appetizing and I remember being skeptical if I should try it since it was served with the buckwheat bread.  Now I assumed it was all gluten free but the person delivering the food didn’t know what was being served so I ultimately had no idea what I was eating, I could only trust that Negi Chef had steered me right so far.  I dipped the buckwheat bread in it and wow it was so good.  One of my favourite dishes from my time in India!  It reminded me a bit of bruschetta.  When I asked Negi Chef the next day what he served me he explained that it was a homecooked food that you don’t often find at restaurants.  It was so good!  I’m so glad that I started asking Negi Chef to surprise me with what he cooked for me.  I got to try such incredible local dishes!  How am I ever going to be able to order Indian food at home now.

One of my favourite meals, Baingan Bharta served with kuttu ki puri

One of my favourite meals, Baingan Bharta served with kuttu ki puri

Two of the best meat dishes I ate were Bhuna Gosht and Chicken Tikka.  Bhuna Gosht is a home style lamb curry cooked with Indian spices, onion and tomato gravy tempered with garlic.  It was so good, the lamb was delicious.  Then Chicken Tikka was a delicious appetizer served with mint sauce.  This was a new flavour combination for me, but the pieces of chicken were really good dipped in the mint sauce.

Chicken tikka with mint sauce

Chicken tikka with mint sauce

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I also had many vegetarian dishes.  Some of my favourite go-to meals are aloo gobi, aloo mutter and vegetable biryani.  I also had a couple different lentil based dishes.  My favourite was Dal Makhani – overnight cooked black lentil finished with butter and cream.  This was a very rich dish, as you can imagine since it is cooked with butter and cream.  It had a really nice, hearty flavour.  On the other hand I wasn’t a big fan of Yellow Dal Tadka.  I found it to be a tad on the boring side, choosing to go with vegetable or meat based curry dishes instead.  Plus, Chana Masala is a popular Punjabi dish made primarily of chickpeas.  I love chickpeas, so I really enjoyed this especially dipping the corn chapati into it.  It’s best served with a flat bread as opposed to rice.

Dal Makhani – overnight cooked black lentil finished with butter and cream

Dal Makhani – overnight cooked black lentil finished with butter and cream

Aloo Mutter, one of my favourite vegetable dishes

Aloo Mutter, one of my favourite vegetable dishes

Aloo Gobi, Vegetable Biryani severed with a sweet lassi

Aloo Gobi, Vegetable Biryani severed with a sweet lassi

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