We’re sauce people. There I said it. Our taste buds are jumping and jazzed to welcome Chitra Agrawal creator of the deliciously entertaining, popular blog The ABCD’s of Cooking where an exploration of her identity as an “American Born Confused Desi” (love that) becomes a journal of traditional vegetarian Indian recipes, inspired and passed down from her family for generations.
Aside from the obvious foods containing gluten, like bread, or wheat pasta, there are the lesser known foods like soy sauce, or salad dressing, various sauces and especially spices that can contain “hidden” gluten
Enter, Brooklyn Delhi Chitra’s line of small-batch Indian Condiments. Achaar is an Indian relish made from vegetables & fruits, spices and oil. Traditionally achaar is made with the spice Asafoetida or Hing. As Chitra explained to us, the hing found in the United States is cut with rice and wheat, and is therefore not safe for avoiding gluten. However, Chitra uses a pure hing, which she brings back from India and “I actually grind it from it’s original state, which is a block of hardened sap.”
Basically India’s equivalent to Sriracha, harissa or kimchi. Add a little bit to whatever you’re eating to give it a spicy, sour, sweet and savory kick! Traditionally, it’s eaten with rice, dal, curry or yogurt, but it goes great on sandwiches, with grilled meats, on eggs, mixed into soups or noodles, with cheese & crackers, etc. and you can also cook with it – add it to a big pot of lentils or coconut curry.