Gluten is unknowingly a major part of our diet and should be removed if a person suffers from Celiac disease. It is often removed in the hope of better health and weight loss. What exactly is gluten? It is the name given to the proteins found in wheat and its derivatives (rye, barley and triticale). It helps to hold the food together and maintain its shape.
It is not easy to know which foods are suitable for a gluten-free diet, but we do know that there are ways to make it possible. You can choose a gluten-free recipe from a long list, which uses flours made out of coconut, rice, oat, almond and many other products.
Keeping the various gluten-free ingredients in mind, some traditional recipes come to mind. These recipes are also a part of the Sadya prepared for the Vishu festival. Vishu is the New Year festival in the state of Kerala celebrated in the second week of April. The feast, which accompanies the celebration, is an amazing experience and the Vishu special recipe listed in this article is suitable for anyone who is on a gluten-free diet.
A very special dish made for Vishu, Aviyal is a stew made with plenty of vegetables. The dish is not only simple to make but also nutritious and tasty. Its ingredients include:
- 10 cups of a variety of vegetables including raw bananas, beans, yam, pumpkin, potatoes, sweet potatoes, drumstick, broad beans, eggplant and more
- Paste made out of coconut (2 cups), cumin (2 tbsp), green chillies (8-9)
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 2 cups curd
- Curry leaves
Cut all the vegetables in long pieces and add them to a pan. Add a spoon of turmeric to the vegetables and some water to it and cook on medium heat till 3/4th done. Now add 1 tbsp of the coconut oil to the cooked vegetables along with salt. Now add the coconut, chillies and cumin paste to the vegetables. Mix well and let it cook for 3 minutes on a medium flame. Now is the time to add curd, which is slightly sour. It must be added only after switching off the flame. Mix it well. If needed, you can temper, which is optional. Or you can simply add coconut oil and leave it as well. The tempering is done with coconut oil, mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida. Add the tempering to the Aviyal and it is ready to eat.
A yoghurt-based dish that has a thick and creamy texture, it is served as a side dish for the Sadya. The recipe uses sliced raw bananas or yams, which are cooked first in salted water with green chillies, salt, pepper and turmeric powder. Then, coconut paste flavoured with cumin seeds is added followed by the sour yoghurt. Add the tempering and it is ready to serve
- Beans Thoran
Beans are a great source of proteins, vitamins and minerals. It becomes even better when prepared as a thoran as it gets infused with taste. You will need 250 grams of chopped beans. Wash 3/4th cup of Bengal gram dal and soak for 2 hours, drain and puree it. Also, create a coarse paste of coconut, cumin, green chillies, garlic and turmeric powder. Stir fry the beans for five minutes and keep it aside. In the same oil, process the tempering with mustard seeds, urad dal, finely chopped onions, curry leaves and red chillies. Add the ground paste and puree to the tempering. Mix well and let it cook till the raw smell is gone. Add the beans and salt; cover and cook for some more time. It is ready to serve.
There are many other dishes, which are prepared for the feast and include Kalan, Cabbage Thoran, Kerala style Sambhar, Olan, Tamarind rasam, Sambharam, Vellika Pachadi and many more. None of these recipes use wheat, rye or any other gluten-rich product and hence they are safe to eat.