Over the years there has been a huge change in the way we eat both at home and in restaurants. Access to more educational information about where our food comes from and how it affects our bodies has impacted the food scene all over the UK and as a restaurant it is important to respect the different dietary requirements of customers who come into Indian Summer and cater accordingly.
Naturally a great option...
Luckily for us, Indian cuisine has long been heralded as one of the best options for those who are vegetarian, vegan and gluten free due to the emphasis on using fresh vegetables and unprocessed ingredients. For those travelling in India, it is easy to find rice and vegetable curries at every turn which have been thickened with non-gluten ingredients such as lentils and chickpea flour at a very reasonable price which is perfect for most diners. However many Indian restaurants in the UK have adapted recipes using western ingredients so it is always important to ask your waiter to check with the kitchen should you be allergic or intolerant to anything specific or do not eat meat or dairy products.
Different states = different cuisine
Food website, Big Apple Curry reports that “80-90% of the ”Indian restaurants” outside of India feature the cuisine of northern India (particularly the state of Punjab), Pakistan, and Bangladesh.” The other 10-20% such as Indian Summer represent other regions of India such as the southern states and you’ll find that the flavours and ingredients used are quite different. In southern India tamarind trees grow in abundance and you will often find tamarind rice on the menu, and in the south-western state of Gujarat (where our founder Minesh is from) seafood is plentiful so often there will be often be an emphasis on fish dishes. Typically southern Indian cuisine suits dairy and meat free diets better as it usually omits the cream used in sauces and uses lentil based daals and popped spices and seeds for accompaniments.
The importance of menu clarity
At Indian Summer we clearly mark our menu for our guests with dietary requirements, pointing out any dishes which are dairy free, contain no gluten and also dishes which can be adapted on request to omit certain ingredients. For example, our Pork Ulathiyathu, a family recipe brought over by our South Indian chef, Joseph featuring succulent stir-fried pork in whole spices is gluten and dairy free, and we offer plenty of vegetarian options which can also be made vegan on request.
For more information on travelling in India with a dietary requirements take a look at the following sources: