I can’t say enough about how much I love Indian food! That perfect combination of spices, flavors, and just a hint of sour calls my name again and again.
This cuisine, heavy on lentils, rice and vegetables and frequently using lentil flour, is versatile, easy to make, and quite often gluten-free friendly!
My love affair with Indian cuisine began far before I was diagnosed with celiac, and it was such an exciting surprise to discover that Indian food is actually super friendly to gluten-free diets. I have always had very pleasant experiences at Indian food restaurants and find it a refreshing change to have so many menu options to choose from.
That said, there is nothing like a home cooked meal, and Indian dishes are some of my go-to staples when preparing dinner. Here are 2 of my favorite recipes…
These recipes are so easy, and the ingredients can be played with and changed around depending on what you have in your kitchen.
Simple Gluten-Free Vegetable Curry
I make this a few times each month, usually when we are in need of a good grocery shop. Sometimes you can really be surprised with the amazing meals you can make with such basic ingredients! While traditional Indian food recipes often call for more complex ingredients like masala, curry pastes and lemongrass, this simple curry recipe can be whipped up from just a few basics. If you make sure to always have coconut milk in the pantry, odds are you have everything else as well!
I’ve used this recipe with pumpkin, butternut squash, chickpeas, potatoes and sweet potatoes, either by themselves or combined. I’ve also added chicken, lamb (both cooked previously), and often will add a couple chopped up persimmons, pineapple, or avocado.
- 2 cups chopped veggies/chickpeas of your choice
- 1 can coconut milk
- 4 Tbsp tomato paste
- curry powder to taste
- ½ squeezed lemon
- optional ½ cup chopped fruit/avocado
- fresh chopped parsley/cilantro
- Steam your veggies. I usually put them in a covered pan with a tiny bit of water at the bottom, bring it to a boil and simmer. You’ll want your veggies fairly tender, but they will cook a bit more in the coconut milk, so don’t overdo it.
- Dump remaining water, and add coconut milk, curry powder, tomato paste, and lemon juice to the veggies, and allow for it to simmer together a few minutes.
- Add some chopped up fruit.
- Serve with rice, and add fresh chopped parsley or cilantro when serving.
Everyday Gluten-Free Yellow Dal
Dahl is in my humble opinion a crucial part of any Indian food plate. I usually make this dish along with a veggie or meat curry, a big bowl of basmati rice and some yogurt on the side. You can even pick up some Papadam (spicy lentil crackers) or easily find them online – these are super tasty and a great addition to any Indian meal.
- 1 cup yellow split-peas, soaked in water for 1 hour
- 1 large tomato cut into 8 wedges
- ¼ cup oil (recipe calls for canola, i use unrefined coconut oil for extra flavor)
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp coriander seeds, ground (i just use powder)
- ¾ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp cayenne (feel free to use less – this makes it spicy!)
- ¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro or parsley
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp salt
- Drain the split peas and place in a large saucepan. Add the tomato and 3 cups of water, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook until split peas are tender, approximately 45 minutes to an hour. Pick out any tomato skins and whisk the dal to emulsify it. Keep warm over low heat while completing the following steps.
- Heat the oil in a medium skillet over high heat. When the oil begins to smoke, add the cumin seeds, covering the skillet with a lid or splatter screen. After the seeds have stopped sputtering, add the onion and saute over medium heat.
- About 3 minutes later, add the garlic and saute until most of the onion has turned dark brown, about 5 minutes altogether. Add the coriander, turmeric and cayenne.
- Stir, and pour the mixture over the split peas. Add fresh cilantro/parsley, butter and salt and simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Serve hot. Great with rice, a dollop of yogurt and one of the curry combinations above!
*I originally saw this recipe on smittenkitchen.
Let me know how you like the recipes. I’m always searching for new flavor combinations, so feel free to add any suggestions in the comments!