Arts & Culture
4:46 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Indian-Inspired Cooking Puts Kick in 'Bland' Gluten-Free Diet

Lake Effect's Dan Harmon interviews Milwaukee chef and author Alamelu Vaivaran.

For an increasing number of people in this country, Indian food plays a key role in their diet.  But at the same time, the number of people in this country who avoid gluten in their diet is growing, as well.

A new cookbook combines the flavors of Indian cooking with gluten-free recipes.
Credit Indian Inspired Gluten-Free Cooking Facebook

It’s an issue on the radar of Milwaukee chef, TV host and author Alamelu Vaivaran, who received many requests from readers and viewers to adapt recipes.

"They said, 'Alamelu, the vegetable, rice dish and the lean proteins will lend itself to gluten-free diets," she says.

She says the overwhelming concern about gluten-free diets is blandness and a lack of flavor. But she hopes to fix that with her latest book, co-authored by dietician Margaret Pfeiffer, called Indian Inspired Gluten-Free Cooking.

“That’s what I want to do: I want to help all these people enjoy good flavorful food," Vaivaran says.

By adding spice, food becomes more flavorful and more appealing, but she says there are also abundant health benefits from using spices.

Milwaukee chef and author Alamelu Vaivaran
Credit Curryonwheels.com

Many of the book's recipes are not dishes traditionally associated with Indian cooking, but they all carry Indian influences and suggest using locally available ingredients to make authentic dishes. Vaivaran says finding the right recipes was a pleasant "experiment."

Vaivaran has written several cookbooks and is host of the local PBS production, Healthful Indian Flavors with Alamelu.  She's an advocate of healthful eating, and Indian cuisine.