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!
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!
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 Nashville, TN 615-463-3005
- 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?