A foodie’s world comes down crumbling when a cherished food needs to be avoided. It becomes all the more difficult if he / she is diagnosed with celiac disease (Read more about celiac disease). But there is no need to lose heart as life without wheat and other gluten-containing foods can also be a treat.
Few cautious substitutions can fulfil the vacuum made by this integral cereal called wheat. Why integral? It is present in our bread, cakes, biscuits, lots of snacks, delicacies and many more foods. I have compiled few recipes substitutions which can be followed and wheat recipes (minus wheat) can safely be included in the diet. Even non-celiacs should try… These will break the monotony for them!!!!
- Cutlets: Bread crumbs are generally added to cutlets for binding. These can be replaced by soaked sago (sabudana), boiled soybean chunks, cornflour, arrowroot. For that matter in any recipe that calls for binding; these foods can be added depending on the desired end result.
- Mathri: is originally made using maida or refined flour. Maida can be replaced with bajra flour and besan in the ratio 4:3. Spinach or fenugreek (methi) can also be added to the flour to improve the nutritive value and taste of mathris.
- Potato Arrowroot Chappati: Fill the void of chappaties by making dough of boiled mashed potato and arrowroot flour in equal quantities.
- Sweet Bajra Roti: Sieve bajra flour and pressure cook bengal gram dal (channa dal). Mix them. Melt jaggery (gud) in hot water, add to flour and prepare the dough.
- Potato singhara (water chestnut) Chappati: Mix boiled mashed potatoes, singhara atta and soya atta in the ratio 3:4:2 to make the dough.
- Rice flakes halwa: Atta or sooji halwa, the most favourite sweet dish made at your homes can not be consumed by you just because of gluten intolerance, not to worry. Have rice flakes (poha) halwa instead. Fry rice flakes, grind them coarsely using 100 ml water. Melt sugar in a pan, add rice flakes and cook. You can even try making halwa using millet flours or singhara flour.
The above list isn’t exhaustive. There can be many more options and substitutions using millets, rice, potatoes in recipes calling for wheat as an ingredient.
Food without wheat can also be a treat, but there is a need for judicious planning to make the diet balanced and to keep the taste buds happy.