Monday, 29 March 2010


If I had to choose the top 5 things I miss about giving up wheat, naan bread would be very high up on my list. Curry without naan bread is like tea without a biscuit to dunk (yes, quite high on the list too), Bolognaise without pasta (corn pasta, naturally) or a birthday without cake *sniff*.

It's exciting when you find out that your favourite Indian restaurant caters for your dietary requirements. Especially when they have a branch conveniently located on your street. The branch in question is Aagrah Cafe at Clarence Dock, Leeds. It's a restaurant I've frequented many times before, either to eat in or get a takeaway. It was only last week that I noticed a bit of small print on their menu that got me very excited about eating there.

The picture to the left of this post shows their menu. I have highlighted the small print that absolutely made my day. My eyes glazed as I started to daydream about stuffing several naan breads down my neck before my fantasy was rudely interrupted by the most rude and arrogant (or should I say 'Aarrogant') waiter I've ever met.

As he came to take our order (there were four of us eating, one of whom was extremely pregnant), I politely enquired about the gluten-free bread they offered. Before I could finish my sentence he bellowed "No no no no no no, we don't do anything, No no no no." A little shocked by his response, I asked why their menu contradicted this. "No no we won't do it, eat rice that's gluten-free." Rice is gluten-free?? Really???? NO S*** SHERLOCK! I'VE ONLY BEEN EATING IT WITH PRACTICALLY EVERY MEAL SINCE I WAS DIAGNOSED WHEAT INTOLERANT!

That got my back up ever so slightly. Dangling a bhaji of hope at me and then preceeding to throw it in my face was extremely frustrating.

FYI, onion bhajis are wheat-free. Make sure you check first just in case, but they should be made with chickpea flour.

Anyway, back to my story. It makes total sense that an Indian restaurant can offer wheat/gluten-free alternatives as Indian cooking often involves using chickpea and rice flour. On this occasion, as the restaurant was uncharacteristically busy, I suspect that they couldn't cope with specialist requests. The restaurant was in chaos so little old me coming in to test their spontaneous cooking skills wasn't welcome.

The moral of the story is, by all means always ask your local Indian restaurant if they will cater for your diet, as there's a good chance they will. And also, don't eat at Aagrah.


1 comment:

  1. that is shocking! It shouldnt be on the menu if they are not willing to do it!