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Food allergies & my cookbooks

I was asked recently if someone with food allergies can use my cookbooks. Realizing that my answer may benefit more of you, here are my notes.

Some of you may already know, I have food allergies and intolerance's. {Annoying ones that make everyone go ‘huh?’ } But mine are genetic – meaning many family members react the same way to some of the same foods. I’ve known about most of mine for 25 years but since they aren’t very serious, we practice moderation: avoid a dish, or eliminate the problem ingredient while cooking a dish. Knowing exactly what goes into my meals is the best way to avoid food allergies.

So, ALL my recipes use whole ingredients (no shortcuts or commercially made mixes except unavoidable ones like baking powder etc.).

I believe that with every one of my recipes, it can be easy to eliminate the trigger – if you know where to look for it, and eliminate it. Recipes in the following books are written down as such:

  • Seven Pots of Tea: an Ayurvedic approach to sips & nosh (2020): This Kickstarter is ongoing! One of the chapters will include a list of common ingredients, and how Ayurveda, and Pharmacognosy views them. Where possible, I will include notes (within reason) about their uses in medicines created by trained professionals. The tea/brews section includes recipes with fresh and dried fruits, fresh and dried spices, water, nuts, sweeteners and dairy when applicable. The nosh section is vegetarian, with a mixed bag of recipes.

  • Roti: 40 Classic Indian Breads & Sides (2019): Includes mostly vegetarian recipes for Indian 'breads' (I think there are 3 recipes with eggs, and one with meat). It is heavily gluten-based, but also includes several gluten-free flat breads and crepe-like preparations. Many don't use leavening (but some do). The section on sides is gluten-free and vegetarian. Recipes here may include nuts and dairy etc. Includes 40 bread recipes, and about 2 dozen recipes for sides.

  • Ten Thousand Tongues: secrets of a layered kitchen (2018): is a food-centered bio fiction. It traces family histories of eight matriarchs. Ten Thousand Tongues: the companion cookbook offers recipes for iconic dishes from these eight kitchens. Includes nearly 80 recipes of all kinds.

  • Crack the Code: cook any Indian meal with confidence (2016): This is a methods book. In the chapter prior to the recipes, readers will find detailed notes about where specific ingredients are best added. Ingredients are grouped based on their place in the recipe into one of six ‘tiers’– making them easy to spot. The reader can decide if they want to replace something else: they would know where it is best added into a recipe. For instance, if someone is allergic to hot green peppers, then the alternate is cayenne pepper powder. Includes 2 dozen recipes, variations allow for more than 5 dozen preparations.

Important: There is no way for any author to know if an ingredient or a recipe will or won’t ‘agree’ with their reader. Ayurvedic eating is only one small part of a healthy living plan. Though Ayurvedic diets are easy to adopt, they are not a panacea and should not be viewed as such. Maximum benefit happens under the supervision of a trained professional and lifestyle changes. It goes without saying that recipes from any cookbook cannot replace medical advice.

I hope this answers any questions- please email me: if you have more.


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Nandita Godbole
Once: botanist & landscape architect.
Now: personal chef, author, an artist, graphic designer, blogger, poet & potter!
Always: dreamer.

Loves fresh brewed chai, the crisp salty ocean breeze, watching monsoon rains & walking barefoot through cold mountain streams. 
Believes in the strength, positivity of the human spirit. Is spiritual but not a fanatic. 
Mom of one. Two, if she counts her husband.

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