October 10, 2011

Travelling to India with Food Allergies & my Questionable New Look

Good morning and good day!
1st, if you are thinking Indian and wanting to live the culinary life check out this: 'It's a Free World' Indian Korma Sauce with cumin, cardomon and rich coconut cream

- Dairy Free
- Milk Free
- Gluten Free
- Wheat Free
- Nut Free
- Egg Free
- Potato Free
- Vegetarian
- Vegan

My mom found this little All Natural packet of instant Indian korma sauce in Portlaoise in Tesco so it should be hiding around some corner in other cities, such as perhaps Dublin??
Anway, she said that it was really quite nice and as you can see it has a healthy list of 'Free From' attributes... Nut Free being the highlight because it's so hard to get foods to list themselves as Nut Free!

Ingredients: Water, Onion, Creamed Coconut (15%), Tomato Purée, Sugar, Cornflour, Lemon Juice, Garlic, Coriander, Olive Oil, Cumin, Ground Coriander, Tumeric (<2%), Sea Salt, Cinnamon, Paprika, Ground Cloves, Chili Powder.

In other news,
I have been struggling to arrange the finer details of mine and F’s fast approaching trip to India... we’re leaving in about 3 weeks!

Apart from getting the visa (which I have to try for a third time today - it seems that oct 6th was Divali so the office was closed, on the following day I was turned away because they don’t take cash, cheques or cards... only postal orders. They also don’t take originals of proof of address, etc, so fingers crossed for today! But seriously, it can’t be worse then the girl in front of me in the queue travelling at 1pm that day who didn’t know she needed a visa. If you find yourself in this position it would seem that 3pm is the earliest ‘same day’ service that visas can be produced because somebody has to come from Cork to sign it!... All of our hearts went out to her as she went home to change her flight). Soooo, I have been so excited but also dreading this coming trip. We’re only going for a few weeks but the food is going to be a nightmare!

The bad news, so far:
- Ghee is an Indian staple. If you’re Dairy Free or have any type of intolerance or allergy to dairy/milk you will probably know that ghee is generally clarified butter and is heavily used throughout India.

- Problematic for Dairy Free kids like me will be our planned trip to Vrindavin which is a major pilgrimage city and especially important for the Hare Krishna population so there will be a lot of Hare Krishna type food which is both Vegetarian and Egg Free but sadly often milk rich. F. tells me that Hare Krishna’s believe milk ‘helps develop the final brain cells which help to understand spiritual knowledge’ thus the large pro-milk diet.

- We will also be visiting Rajasthan where: ‘In the parched deserts of Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Bikaner, meats are often cooked without water, using milk, curd, buttermilk and plenty of ghee.’ - Lonely Planet

The good news, so far:
- Also in Rajasthan, they often use camel milk (?!). Although I have an allergy to cow’s milk I seem to be only mildly intolerant to goat’s milk and sheep’s milk (ewe) so maybe camel milk will be my saving grace? They even make ice cream out of camel milk!

- If you are vegetarian you will be smooooth sailing as a huge percentage of Indians are vegetarian and vegetarian food is available most everywhere. In Gujarat 90% of the population is vegetarian!

- If you are Egg allergic or just Egg Free (which I am trying to be) then keep an eye out for the vegetarian meals especially in Vrindavin where egg if usually/often/sometimes considered as anti-vegetarian so all the vegetarian dishes will be naturally free from egg.

- happycow.net has a few vegan restaurants identified across the country

- Dosas! Which are naturally Wheat Free and Gluten Free (with exception of Rava Dosa which is made with Semolina). Dosas are large crispy pancakes made from rice flour or mung-bean dahl. They are usually a breakfast food and Masala Dosas come with spicy potatoes inside. They often have onions but not usually tomatoes, if you happen to be Tomato Free and having a hard time. This is actually a good fall back if you are in an Indian restaurant such as Madina on Mary St, Dublin 1 where the Masala Dosa is the only Ghee Free Dairy Free dish available.

Finally I would like to apologize to anyone who was reading my blog over the weekend and had to witness the 500 changes to the template and background and colours and fonts...zeesh. I was trying to organize it privately (a.k.a not online) and was oh so happy with friday’s grey and red theme.
I thought it was cool and sleek but it seems that I was wrong. Almost EVERYbody missed the lemons. Some said that it was nice but in general everybody thought that it was ‘sooo grey’.. ‘it’s just sooooo grey’.... right.. ok, point taken. So we want the lemons to return. I tried that but to no avail. I liked the lemons too but there was just something about them and the way they worked with the overall layout that annoyed me every time I logged on and we can’t have that!
So, there were very cool melons and pomegranates (just a bit too heavy)
and a really fun pastel back-drop of circles and birds (which my friend M. told me would be great if I was a clown at a children’s party - lol!)
and there was a pale grandma type wallpaper,
and colourful cutlery,
etc, etc.. I put each one online so my sister who lives in Kilkenny could judge them... So like I said, Super Sorry to any readers who witnessed that! In the end, Tah-DAH! It's bright yellow wheat. Yes, wheat, one of the big food allergies... but what do you think? Yea or nay?

My sister thinks that it looks like my personality..I’m sure what that means, but I like the way it looks, so I’ll take it as a compliment??? ;)
I also like that it somehow reminds me of bumble bees.... and looks happy but also healthy and wholefood-ish. I would really love your opinion, positive or negative as it may be!


F. said...

I liked the lemons but the new look is nice!

Aurea@Survival Guide said...

Thanks F. ;)