Jump to content
  • Sign Up
0
superbeansprout

Traveling To India

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

Hello,

I think I started to post something a few months ago, but now I have more details about the trip I'm taking to India in December. My boyfriend and I will be staying at the beginning of our trip with a friend's family who will be showing us around Mumbai, then we'll be on a guided tour for the middle of our trip, then to a wedding for the last day and a half of our trip. here's more breakdown:

I will be traveling to Mumbai for about 2 days, then taking a guided group tour *i think it's guided and I think it's a group tour* of Jaipur, Agra, and New Delhi for 4ish days. Then we are going to a wedding in Bhopal for a day or two, and then back to Mumbai for a day/night, then we fly back home late night flight.

any tips, or anything to help me convey my celiac disease to local restaurants in these areas would be greatly appreciated. I do not speak the language, and I'm sure there are many many dialects, and/or even different languages throughout the different regions of the country.

I've also heard that the weather in Mumbai will be colder than in Agra, Jaipur, and New Delhi in December. around 45 degrees F in Mumbai, vs about 70 in Agra, Jaipur, New Delhi. Can anyone confirm this? Anyone been? Lived there?

Are there restaurant cards in Indian dialects to convey the no-gluten containing ingredients?? I think I have one for Italy, France, Spain, etc. but I wasn't sure if they made them for India as well.

I received a nutrition packet from my nutritionist on ordering gluten free Indian food, but this is more for ordering Indian food in America, not necessarily IN India.

Help! Please!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was in Northern and Southern INdia in May and June and will hed back to Banagalor in 2 weeks. I found India one of the easiest places to order gluten-free foods. You do need an idea of what you can eat but things like palak panner, bhindi masala and veggie curries were all gluten-free.

Some of the breads -- dosa,, roti etc are not. In some places you can ask for them made with channa or ragi -- chickpea and millet.

That was amazing to have. Other breaded items can often be made with pure channa or other dal flour. Almost everyone speaks some english so I never used the cards I printed in Hindi. In the South in rural areas where there was no english I could get by with enough Karnada to make sure I was ok. Just keeping to 100% channa or only having saag or palak (spinach) of some kind.

anyway it was really easy and Im looking forward to heading back. Never been to Mumbai.. I'm usually in rural areas trying to keep away from snakes.

Have a great trip

Hello,

I think I started to post something a few months ago, but now I have more details about the trip I'm taking to India in December. My boyfriend and I will be staying at the beginning of our trip with a friend's family who will be showing us around Mumbai, then we'll be on a guided tour for the middle of our trip, then to a wedding for the last day and a half of our trip. here's more breakdown:

I will be traveling to Mumbai for about 2 days, then taking a guided group tour *i think it's guided and I think it's a group tour* of Jaipur, Agra, and New Delhi for 4ish days. Then we are going to a wedding in Bhopal for a day or two, and then back to Mumbai for a day/night, then we fly back home late night flight.

any tips, or anything to help me convey my celiac disease to local restaurants in these areas would be greatly appreciated. I do not speak the language, and I'm sure there are many many dialects, and/or even different languages throughout the different regions of the country.

I've also heard that the weather in Mumbai will be colder than in Agra, Jaipur, and New Delhi in December. around 45 degrees F in Mumbai, vs about 70 in Agra, Jaipur, New Delhi. Can anyone confirm this? Anyone been? Lived there?

Are there restaurant cards in Indian dialects to convey the no-gluten containing ingredients?? I think I have one for Italy, France, Spain, etc. but I wasn't sure if they made them for India as well.

I received a nutrition packet from my nutritionist on ordering gluten free Indian food, but this is more for ordering Indian food in America, not necessarily IN India.

Help! Please!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

Tonight I'm headed back to India for a few weeks.

Your still looking for additional info, let me know and I'll try to find some answers while there.

take care

Ken

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am afraid awareness about Celiac disease is very poor in India. This is even the case among medical professionals. It took 20 years for me to get diagnosed, all the while being treated for a variety of manifestations.

Having said that, welcome to India, the land which has Gluten Free options aplenty.

Here is a guided tour of what not to eat in India.

Local Bread: they go by a variety of names like Rotis, chappatis, nan, paratha, puri, rumali roti etc. (All are wheat based). Some places in the North (Delhi, Agra, Jaipur included) offer bread (rotis) of cornflour or some other grain. Beware they always add wheat flour to this dough for consistency.

Options available: rice is available in plenty. You can have rice with a variety of curries, pulses (dals as they are called here).

South Indian food like Idlis, dosas, vadas etc are completely gluten free. They are made with a combination of rice and lentils. But while ordering a dosa, avoid rava dosa (rava again is derived from wheat). Most restaurants may be serving south Indian food but there are a variety that specialise in it or serve it exclusively. These ones would be better. There is a Saravana Bhawan chain found in many cities and towns. Their food is good and safe, but avoid the rava dosas. They a variety on offer. But the owner was recently convicted for murder. Not a customer though.

Most of the meat preparations are Gluten Free. But avoid khebabs (kabbabs as some call it), tikkas, or some of the processed meats. They in all likelihood would be contaminated. Though it is claimed that gram flour is used as a binding agent in khebabs, one can never be sure. Best avoided. Even tandoori chicken (roasted in an earthern oven) may be avoided as in most cases (though not necessarily) it may also be used for baking rotis.

India has a very poor food labelling system. Many processed foods just indicate "starch" as an ingredient, without mentioning the source of the starch, which in all likelihood is derived from wheat.

While at the wedding avoid sweets. At Indian weddings (in many parts) lots of sweets are served. Many of them have wheat added in some form of the other, though not all.

All these are advisories on the basis of personal experience.

Given below is a link to a post on someone who is back from India:

http://www.celiacchicks.com/2009/03/glutenfree-india.html

By the way Wheat is called "Gaihoon" and wheat flour "Gaihoon ka aata". "aata" means flour.

Unfortunately, I am still searching for Gluten Free Beers. Most alcohols are also not labelled for their ingredients. Most Indian liquor is made from sugarcane -- Whisky (whiskey), Rum, etc. Some Vodkas are also made from grain (wheat).

Weather in Mumbai would be pleasant as compared to Delhi, Jaipur, Agra or for that matter Bhopal. For North Indians, it would be winter in the month of December. It peaks in December-end January.

Hindi would be the common language at all these places. Though the local language is Marathi in Mumbai, Hindi is understood and spoken. But you would not find it difficult communicating in English in India.

All the best for a Gluten Free Trip to India

Muralidharan

Hello,

I think I started to post something a few months ago, but now I have more details about the trip I'm taking to India in December. My boyfriend and I will be staying at the beginning of our trip with a friend's family who will be showing us around Mumbai, then we'll be on a guided tour for the middle of our trip, then to a wedding for the last day and a half of our trip. here's more breakdown:

I will be traveling to Mumbai for about 2 days, then taking a guided group tour *i think it's guided and I think it's a group tour* of Jaipur, Agra, and New Delhi for 4ish days. Then we are going to a wedding in Bhopal for a day or two, and then back to Mumbai for a day/night, then we fly back home late night flight.

any tips, or anything to help me convey my celiac disease to local restaurants in these areas would be greatly appreciated. I do not speak the language, and I'm sure there are many many dialects, and/or even different languages throughout the different regions of the country.

I've also heard that the weather in Mumbai will be colder than in Agra, Jaipur, and New Delhi in December. around 45 degrees F in Mumbai, vs about 70 in Agra, Jaipur, New Delhi. Can anyone confirm this? Anyone been? Lived there?

Are there restaurant cards in Indian dialects to convey the no-gluten containing ingredients?? I think I have one for Italy, France, Spain, etc. but I wasn't sure if they made them for India as well.

I received a nutrition packet from my nutritionist on ordering gluten free Indian food, but this is more for ordering Indian food in America, not necessarily IN India.

Help! Please!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my earlier post I said that it would be summer during December (I have since edited and corrected it). It would be winter. Sorry for the error.

Hello,

I think I started to post something a few months ago, but now I have more details about the trip I'm taking to India in December. My boyfriend and I will be staying at the beginning of our trip with a friend's family who will be showing us around Mumbai, then we'll be on a guided tour for the middle of our trip, then to a wedding for the last day and a half of our trip. here's more breakdown:

I will be traveling to Mumbai for about 2 days, then taking a guided group tour *i think it's guided and I think it's a group tour* of Jaipur, Agra, and New Delhi for 4ish days. Then we are going to a wedding in Bhopal for a day or two, and then back to Mumbai for a day/night, then we fly back home late night flight.

any tips, or anything to help me convey my celiac disease to local restaurants in these areas would be greatly appreciated. I do not speak the language, and I'm sure there are many many dialects, and/or even different languages throughout the different regions of the country.

I've also heard that the weather in Mumbai will be colder than in Agra, Jaipur, and New Delhi in December. around 45 degrees F in Mumbai, vs about 70 in Agra, Jaipur, New Delhi. Can anyone confirm this? Anyone been? Lived there?

Are there restaurant cards in Indian dialects to convey the no-gluten containing ingredients?? I think I have one for Italy, France, Spain, etc. but I wasn't sure if they made them for India as well.

I received a nutrition packet from my nutritionist on ordering gluten free Indian food, but this is more for ordering Indian food in America, not necessarily IN India.

Help! Please!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Muralidharan

Thanks very much for posting your information. I think it will help many people coming to INdia. Just now I'm sitting in Bangalor waiting on a friend to go to dinner. As a celiac I found it very easy to order here, as you said especially in the south. Since I am also diabetic I have to be careful of the rice and can no longer have briyani dishes.

Some of my chef friends here will make ragi roti or dosa only with moong dal or channa

and with no rice. These are much better for me, The ragi or millet is especially good and this morning the chef made a steamed bun much like a manapua the steamed bun in my home, Hawaii. This was one of the best discoveries I had while working in India for a number months this year. Its such a pleasure to have healthy breads again. I found while traveling throughout your county that ordering palak or saag Spinach) with or without panner cheese has always been safe. I do see some curries that appear to have been thickened with that unknown starch you mentioned.

All in all having traveled while working in more than 40 countries, I found India to have not only some of the best most flavorful foods but also some of the safest for a sensitive celiac.

FOr those of you looking at this, please dont think of all Indian foods as being highly spiced very hot curry. There are so many regional differences, tastes, levels of spice and other variables that its always a new delicious learning experience. A quote I learned this week while watching a special on Gandhi's 140 birthday was

Live like you will die tomorrow, learn like you will live forever.

Ken

I am afraid awareness about Celiac disease is very poor in India. This is even the case among medical professionals. It took 20 years for me to get diagnosed, all the while being treated for a variety of manifestations.

Having said that, welcome to India, the land which has Gluten Free options aplenty.

Here is a guided tour of what not to eat in India.

Local Bread: they go by a variety of names like Rotis, chappatis, nan, paratha, puri, rumali roti etc. (All are wheat based). Some places in the North (Delhi, Agra, Jaipur included) offer bread (rotis) of cornflour or some other grain. Beware they always add wheat flour to this dough for consistency.

Options available: rice is available in plenty. You can have rice with a variety of curries, pulses (dals as they are called here).

South Indian food like Idlis, dosas, vadas etc are completely gluten free. They are made with a combination of rice and lentils. But while ordering a dosa, avoid rava dosa (rava again is derived from wheat). Most restaurants may be serving south Indian food but there are a variety that specialise in it or serve it exclusively. These ones would be better. There is a Saravana Bhawan chain found in many cities and towns. Their food is good and safe, but avoid the rava dosas. They a variety on offer. But the owner was recently convicted for murder. Not a customer though.

Most of the meat preparations are Gluten Free. But avoid khebabs (kabbabs as some call it), tikkas, or some of the processed meats. They in all likelihood would be contaminated. Though it is claimed that gram flour is used as a binding agent in khebabs, one can never be sure. Best avoided. Even tandoori chicken (roasted in an earthern oven) may be avoided as in most cases (though not necessarily) it may also be used for baking rotis.

India has a very poor food labelling system. Many processed foods just indicate "starch" as an ingredient, without mentioning the source of the starch, which in all likelihood is derived from wheat.

While at the wedding avoid sweets. At Indian weddings (in many parts) lots of sweets are served. Many of them have wheat added in some form of the other, though not all.

All these are advisories on the basis of personal experience.

Given below is a link to a post on someone who is back from India:

http://www.celiacchicks.com/2009/03/glutenfree-india.html

By the way Wheat is called "Gaihoon" and wheat flour "Gaihoon ka aata". "aata" means flour.

Unfortunately, I am still searching for Gluten Free Beers. Most alcohols are also not labelled for their ingredients. Most Indian liquor is made from sugarcane -- Whisky (whiskey), Rum, etc. Some Vodkas are also made from grain (wheat).

Weather in Mumbai would be pleasant as compared to Delhi, Jaipur, Agra or for that matter Bhopal. For North Indians, it would be summer in the month of December. It peaks in December-end January.

Hindi would be the common language at all these places. Though the local language is Marathi in Mumbai, Hindi is understood and spoken. But you would not find it difficult communicating in English in India.

All the best for a Gluten Free Trip to India

Muralidharan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rightly said Ken. Ragi is both good for celiacs and diabetics. Sorry that you have to miss out on the biryani. There are a variety of them out here, you know, and with regional flavours in abundance, as you observed. I do miss out on breads but not that much as rice was the staple diet at home. As you might have discovered by now in a major part of the country rice is the staple diet.

Muralidharan

Dear Muralidharan

Thanks very much for posting your information. I think it will help many people coming to INdia. Just now I'm sitting in Bangalor waiting on a friend to go to dinner. As a celiac I found it very easy to order here, as you said especially in the south. Since I am also diabetic I have to be careful of the rice and can no longer have briyani dishes.

Some of my chef friends here will make ragi roti or dosa only with moong dal or channa

and with no rice. These are much better for me, The ragi or millet is especially good and this morning the chef made a steamed bun much like a manapua the steamed bun in my home, Hawaii. This was one of the best discoveries I had while working in India for a number months this year. Its such a pleasure to have healthy breads again. I found while traveling throughout your county that ordering palak or saag Spinach) with or without panner cheese has always been safe. I do see some curries that appear to have been thickened with that unknown starch you mentioned.

All in all having traveled while working in more than 40 countries, I found India to have not only some of the best most flavorful foods but also some of the safest for a sensitive celiac.

FOr those of you looking at this, please dont think of all Indian foods as being highly spiced very hot curry. There are so many regional differences, tastes, levels of spice and other variables that its always a new delicious learning experience. A quote I learned this week while watching a special on Gandhi's 140 birthday was

Live like you will die tomorrow, learn like you will live forever.

Ken

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah your so right Muralidharan.

I too grew up on rice and not so much potato. I still much prefer rice but have to wait until my diabetes is under control better. I just got it in may.

Do you know Banagalore at all? Where are you from in India?

ken

Rightly said Ken. Ragi is both good for celiacs and diabetics. Sorry that you have to miss out on the biryani. There are a variety of them out here, you know, and with regional flavours in abundance, as you observed. I do miss out on breads but not that much as rice was the staple diet at home. As you might have discovered by now in a major part of the country rice is the staple diet.

Muralidharan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Ken

The first ten years of my life was at Bangalore. Have not visited the city much after though. Been there a couple of times. It seems to have lost the old charm But still it is a city lovable.

My origins are in Kerala, more south.

Muralidharan

Ah your so right Muralidharan.

I too grew up on rice and not so much potato. I still much prefer rice but have to wait until my diabetes is under control better. I just got it in may.

Do you know Banagalore at all? Where are you from in India?

ken

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Muralidharan

thanks for your reply. I'm enjoying Bangalore a lot and some things have not changed like Koshys. He will always fix me something special make sure there is nothing dangerous for a celiac.

there is a big change of course like cities this size everywhere else in the world but there is stil lsomething special about it.

I laso spend time in Kerala, mostly Kasergod and Waynad.

Some wonderful areas your from!

ken

Dear Ken

The first ten years of my life was at Bangalore. Have not visited the city much after though. Been there a couple of times. It seems to have lost the old charm But still it is a city lovable.

My origins are in Kerala, more south.

Muralidharan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
0

×