Once every year around Christmas, my mum and I go for a curry while I’m off work. We have done this for a long time. As most Indian curries are naturally gluten-free and are served with rice, I figured that I would be relatively safe (although I did ask).
I was informed that the mains are gluten-free, as is the rice and vegetable pakora. Pakora! Hooray! So I ordered: vegetable pakora, chicken chasni (streamed not tikka made in the tandoor) and some brown rice… Yum!
The pakora arrived, everyone’s, all on the one plate. Cross-contamination nightmare. Then the waiter took my fork and pointed out the vegetable pakora while moving other pieces out the way. Ho hum, no starter for me then (and my mum and I swapped forks as mine had poked at the gluten-filled pakoras).
On to main! The curry was delicious! The rice was perfect. The naan bread everyone else had to accompany their curry was so tempting, but I was happy to be part of the ‘norm’ – even if I didn’t have any naan.
But then my abdomen started to ache. And not through too much food! I’ve been glutened! Damn. I took a couple of ibuprofen to fend off the pain and sat while the others finished their meal.
The pudding selection had no gluten free option which was saddening. However, I found out after a read online that the After Eights with my coffee was gluten-free! Yey!
Overall I give the Ashoka Ashton Lane 2.5/5 for being coeliac friendly.
Pro’s: They did try, and they discounted our bill because I wasn’t able to eat anything but my main.
Con’s: They weren’t exactly sensitive to the issue and clearly not trained in what coeliac is. There were no safe options for food except curry and rice. The only person who was able to deal with. E was the manager, who was really busy most of the time.
Tips for eating gluten-free in an Indian Restaurant(which I have since learned about)
Beware of dishes with maida flour, hing and Sufi (which means wheat).
Popadums is made with lentils so in theory are safe. However, the popadums could be fried in the same oil as flour coated foods. Best to ask.
Lastly, ask for steamed not tandoori chicken as the tandoor is also where they cook their naan bread.
Click Here for the Hindi coeliac restaurant card. It may be useful if there is a language barrier.