Mamsam Dosa - A dosa filled with lamb, green peas, curry leaves and spices.
Dakhin in Glasgow’s Merchant City claims to be the first authentic South Indian restaurant in Scotland. Not only does it provide excellent Indian food it is also exclusively gluten free. Whilst many restaurants in and around Glasgow provide a gluten free menu this restaurant is unique in that no gluten is used on the premises making it safe for those who have a gluten allergy. For people with coeliac even the smallest contamination of gluten in their food can have devastating consequences. It is good to know that you can come to a restaurant that does not have foods that can cause accidental contamination.
The good news is that you do not have to be gluten free to eat there. Their food is amazing, and their menu caters for all tastes with chicken, lamb, seafood, vegan and vegetarian bringing distinctive and unique dishes from Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Telangana.
You will the restaurant on Candleriggs, and it is situated on the first floor of a traditional Merchant City styled building. It is fresh, open and airy. Despite arriving at around 2pm on a Saturday is had a great buzz about it. The service was efficient and traditionally Indian.
I recently frequented Dakhin with a young friend of mine.
The Taste Test!
We opted for the Pre Theatre menu. At £17.95 for two courses it was a good price, although there week day lunch menu for even cheaper at £11.95 for three courses was an even better deal but with less choices (definitely will give this a try). I went for the Keerai Bhajji - a popular street food snack (see below). The fritters are made of fresh spinach and onions, which are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Every bite was mouth-wateringly good. The accompanying sauce had just the right spiciness and tanginess to complement the bhajji.
I followed this with a Mamsam Dosa. Whatever is that lol?!! As you can see from the above picture it is a large pancake made of rice and lentils containing a lamb filling and served with two sauces, Sambhar and Thengai Chutney. Negotiating the pancake was interesting. I started in the middle to reveal that the pancake itself was fairly hollow and that it contained the spiced lamb filling. Very enjoyable.
My companion like me opted for the Keerai Bhajji for a starter followed by Mysore Chilli Koli Chicken cooked in a blend of onions, tomatoes, coconut milk and green chillies — apparently from the old Kingdom of Mysore. This was served with Siru Uttapam which are soft pancakes made of ground rice and lentil with a variety of toppings — tomatoes, red onions and coconut. She was not disappointed.
Keerai Bhajji - A popular street food snack, these fritters of fresh spinach and onions are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Other Menu Options
They all provide an a al carte menu and separate vegan menu. They also do a group tasting menu ranging from £30 to £50 per person. Their website also states that all food on their menu are prepared without using gluten, nuts, peanuts, sesame, celery, lupin, molluscs and sulphites. Their standard operating procedure ensures that all the ingredients used in their kitchen are free from these allergens.
I would definitely score the Dakhin experience 10/10, and highly recommend this restaurant as a must try if you have not already done so.
Should we eat gluten-free?
There is much controversy around whether we should eat gluten free or not. Being diagnosed as gluten free can be a long and distressing process. Symptoms include:
· severe or occasional diarrhoea, excessive wind and/or constipation
· persistent or unexplained nausea and vomiting
· recurrent stomach pain, cramping or bloating
· any combination of iron, vitamin B12 or folic acid deficiency
· sudden or unexpected weight loss (but not in all cases)
· mouth ulcers
· skin rash (dermatitis herpetiformis)
· tooth enamel problems
· liver abnormalities
· unexplained subfertility
· repeated miscarriages
· neurological (nerve) problems such as ataxia (loss of coordination, poor balance) and peripheral neuropathy (numbness and tingling in the hands and feet)
However, many of these symptoms can indicate other issues and do not necessarily mean that gluten is an issue. Tests can include blood, endoscope and/or genetic testing. For the blood test you have to eat gluten two times per day for six weeks. This can be almost impossible for people who have removed gluten from the diet and then have to add it in for six weeks to do the blood test. Most GPs will not do more investigations unless the blood test has been done. Not fun by any stretch of the imagination!!
You may be subjected to all of that and it may all come back as negative! This may not mean that you are not intolerant to gluten it may just mean that you do not have coeliac. Coeliac is an autoimmune disease. Autoimmunity is when the body rejects its own sell and mounts an immune attack on it’s own body.
Non-coeliac gluten sensitivity can still be a problem in the absence of autoimmunity. This is when the body reacts to the following foods:- wheat, barley, rye or oats. According to Coeliac UK “Some researchers define non coeliac gluten sensitivity as an improvement in symptoms when following a gluten free diet”. A compromised gut may have a sensitivity to gluten. The reason for this is that an inflamed gut may be further irritated by the presence of gluten. When you remove gluten this may help reduce gut irritation and symptoms associate with eating gluten may improve.
When working with clients with compromised gut I may remove gluten from the diet for a period of time. This is alongside a gut rebalancing protocol. We never replace the gluten free with the highly processed gluten free products often found in supermarkets. These foods can be just as damaging for the gut as gluten products. We replace it with wholesome foods that help to support rebalancing the gut bacteria and that help soothe gut inflammation.
My 7 day free gut plan is a way to start your journey to better gut health. It is gluten free, dairy free and low in fodmaps. Fodmaps are substances in foods that can irritate a compromised gut. It is often recommended for people with IBS. I’m not a fan of the full fodmap diet but identifying and removing problematic fodmaps from the diet for a short time can help to alleviate discomfort in the gut. This diet should only be done under guidance of a qualified practitioner.
Marie Jarvis is a qualified and BANT registered Nutritional Therapist.
A nutritional therapist looks at the nutritional status of an individual and seeks to address the underlying issues and symptoms that create a state of disease in the body. Addressing these areas helps to bring balance to the body and reduces the symptoms associated with health conditions.
Mysore Chilli Koli Chicken with Siru Uttapam.