GF Friendly Restaurants

Woodlands, Gluten-Friendly Indian Vegetarian Cuisine

12 Comments 12 July 2012

Woodlands, Gluten-Friendly Indian Vegetarian Cuisine

When dining out gluten free, I tend to play it safe by sticking with restaurants that have known gluten-free menus or veggie-packed salads.  I’m a little nervous about trying ethnic restaurants, mostly because of my ignorance, but also because I’m afraid that I might not be able to clearly communicate my need for a gluten-free meal with the waiters.

I finally mustered up the courage to try Woodlands, an Indian vegetarian restaurant in Nashville.  And I’m so glad that I stepped outside of my comfort zone.  It wasn’t just a delicious change from my norm, but it was easy for me to find gluten-free options as many Indian dishes are naturally gluten free.

We started our meal with potato bonda, which is mashed potatoes dipped in chic pea flour and deep fried.  Okay, so not my idea of a healthy appetizer, but during marathon training, I craved these!

Potato Bonda

The famous Indian naan, a white wheat bread, is obviously off limits.  But there are other gluten-free breaded items to try:

  • Pappadum – crispy wafer-like flatbread made from lentil or chickpea flour
  • Dosas – crepes made from rice and lentil flours and stuffed with savory fillings
  • Iddly –  spongy steamed rice and lentil cake

I had to try the crepe-like Dosas.  They were huge, not even fitting on a serving platter.

We’ve tried the Masala Dosa, filled with potato, onion, and spices.  But our favorite is the Beans and Cheese Dosa,  featuring black beans, cheese, and spices.

Served with Sambar and Coconut Chutney

The curries are a safe bet for gluten-free diners, and they’re served with white rice and raita (yogurt with vegetables).  My favorite was the Dal Tadka, yellow lentils cooked with tomato, onion, and spices.

I also loved the Dal Makhani made with kidney beans, yellow and black lentils, onion, and tomato.

And for dessert we had Carrot Halwa, which is carrot cooked in coconut milk, cashews, raisins, almonds, and sugar.  I am sooooo going to make this at home!

Carrot Halwa

I highly recommend dining at Woodlands.  The food is delicious, the waitstaff is attentive, and when asked about gluten and other ingredients, they relay questions to the kitchen and return with clear answers.

3415 West End Avenue
Woodlands on Urbanspoon
Nashville, TN

Readers, dish!

  • Have you been to Woodlands?  How was your experience?
  • Have you had positive gluten-free dining experiences at an Indian restaurant?
  • What is your favorite gluten-free Indian dish?

Your Comments

12 Comments so far

  1. Allison says:

    I have been to Woodlands, but it was long ago before I was GF. I’m so happy to know you had a good experience — it’s right down the road from me, and now you’ve motivated me to go back! Loved all the pictures. Thanks for the post! :)

    • Heather says:

      You are so lucky they’re right down the road!! I have serious Woodlands cravings weekly, but the cost of gas reminds me not to give in to every one! :) Enjoy, Allison!!

  2. christine says:

    Indian restaurants generally are safe havens – whenever we go away we seek them out and we’re seldom disappointed – I feel hungry just reading your post:)

  3. amber says:

    Oh Heather, all that food looks amazing. I have to say, Indian is one of my favorite cuisines. I adore the spices. I love your restaurant. I’ll have to check my favorite local spot for Dosas and Iddly. New to me! Thanks Heather.

    Have fabulous weekend.


  4. I’ve heard good things about Woodlands but have never been. (I’ve never had Indian food which is a shame since I was actually raised eating curry.) You mentioned yogurt in raita. Did you notice if there was dairy in a lot of the dishes? Thanks!

  5. Debbie says:

    I can completely relate to your concerns with eating ethnic food with our diet. Everything looks delicious! So glad you were able to find a place to eat.

  6. Beth says:

    Absolutely LOVE Woodlands!

    And carrot halwa? I discovered that last year on the buffet at Bombay Bistro in Cool Springs. After the first few bites I had the waitress ask the manager to come over to our table. He was afraid I was going to complain about something, but all I wanted to do was grill him on how they make that ridiculously amazing dish!!

    • Heather says:

      I hope you figured it out!!! It truly is ridiculous! Is your version on your blog?

      • Beth says:

        He did give me a list of all of the ingredients and some rough instructions, but I haven’t attempted it yet at home. It is on my running list of random ideas for blog posts though 😉

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A Curious Girl in the Gluten-Free World

I'm a curious girl, wife, teacher, fitness fanatic, gluten-free foodie, high-raw vegan, and Mama Cat living in NYC. I've made the transition from baking and cooking gluten-free to creating raw vegan recipes that are naturally gluten free. My gluten intolerance opened up my diet to a whole new world of nutritious plant-based foods. While I'm not 100% vegan, it's my favorite way to eat, and making and sharing raw foods makes me giddy. Living in the City has its joys and challenges, and I enjoy sharing my experiences with you.

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