The afternoon was filled with culinary enthusiasts and opinion makers. The table was laid, the ingredients were ready and the audience was excited. It was not a live telecast of Masterchef, but a live culinary session of gluten-free recipes at The Imperial in Delhi. The interest was understandable, as going gluten free is a big fad these days. People with even the slightest stomach troubles are asked to go gluten-free by doctors and some of them just do it on their own.
A visit to any specialty store will enlighten anyone looking for gluten-free foods. From a variety of biscuits, flours, pastas and readymade garlic bread, pizza, pastries, cakes to samosas and even cup noodles and ready-to-eat meals, gluten-free is a market that has exploded.
Health food blogger Sangeeta Khanna, who curated the cookout, says, “Food is the biggest change-maker and we are the ones who can make a choice. The awareness and acceptance of gluten-free is gaining prominence in a big way, as many of us are intolerant to this protein. Eating gluten-free is not difficult.”
She presented a variety of gluten-free snacks that can be made easily at home and with healthy ingredients like buckwheat, ragi, quinoa, millets, water chestnut, etc. The result was buckwheat blinis sandwich with beetroot and feta; ragi samosa filled with cucumber, peas and cashewnut; quinoa, cumin and sesame crackers with orange hummus; amaranth flour, carrot and raisin cookies and fresh water chestnut panna cotta with pecan nut and honeycomb. Alok Verma, executive sous chef at The Imperial, said the demand for gluten-free food is increasing and he sees more Indian guests asking for gluten-free food than westerners.