A foodie’s world crumbles when they have to avoid a cherished food. 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 a few recipe substitutions that you can follow to safely include wheat-free recipes in your diet. Even non-celiacs should try… These will break the monotony for them!!!!
Wheat is used as a main ingredient in our breads, pasta etc., sweet preparations and also as a binder
- Cutlets: People usually add bread crumbs for binding in cutlets. You can replace them with soaked sago (sabudana), boiled soybean chunks, cornflour, or arrowroot. In any recipe that requires binding, you can incorporate these foods based on your desired end result.
- Mathri: is originally made using maida or refined flour. You can replace maida with a 4:3 ratio of bajra flour and besan. You can also add spinach or fenugreek (methi) to the flour to enhance 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: If you have gluten intolerance, don’t worry about not being able to consume your favorite sweet dish, whether it’s Atta or sooji halwa made at your homes. 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.