I had an Indian-style crepe last night for dinner. It’s called a dosa. It was delicious AND gluten free. Hampton Chutney Co. now has a location on the Upper West Side. It was a slow night so I was able to have a detailed conversation with the lovely young lady (YL) working the cash register.

Me: “Are all of your dosas gluten free?”
YL: “Yes, our dosas and uttapas are made with just lentil flour, rice flour, water and salt”
Me: “Great, what about the fillings?”
YL: “Ummmmm, probably, are like vegetables gluten free?”

Clearly she was well-trained on the ingredients in the dosas and uttapas (thicker and more like a pancake than crepe) but wasn’t educated about the ingredients in the various fillings. She was able to tell me that their griddle was used only for the dosas and uttapas and not for the Naan bread that is made with wheat flour. She called over a manager, who double checked on a few things for me including the presence of asafetida in the restaurant.
[I know, asa-fa-whata? Asafetida is an Indian spice (sometimes called hing) that contains wheat. While Indian food is a cuisine that lends itself towards being gluten free, some restaurants use asafetida in every dish. I have found the Indian food dining card from Triumph Dining to be quite helpful in avoiding this spice and explaining my needs to the restaurant. Though eating out is always risky]

After the manager checked over everything with the owner – no they do not use asafetida at Hampton Chutney Co. – I selected a seasonal dosa filled with roasted butternut squash, portabello mushrooms, spinach, jack cheese and avocadoes. All of their dosas are served with a chutney of your choice, in keeping with the season I picked pumpkin though their cilantro chutney is my favorite (which they also sell at certain Whole Foods if you can’t make it to Hampton Chutney).

After the extended conversation with the manager and employee, my friend commented that he couldn’t believe how flip the first employee was about the fillings “probably” being gluten free. I don’t blame her; it’s hard to understand that even a small contamination could cause serious damage until you learn about Celiac disease. I hope that as the community of people diagnosed with Celiac grows that understanding will accompany that growth. Then maybe we will hear more often “Yes, I’m sure it’s gluten free” and be able to trust that it’s true. But in the meantime, don't risk it until you get all of your questions answered.
Hampton Chutney Downtown: 68 Prince St, New York 10012 Btwn Broadway & Lafayette St Phone: 212-226-9996
Hampton Chutney Uptown: 464 Amsterdam Ave, New York 10024 At 82nd St Phone: 212-362-5050
Hampton Chutney Amagansett: Main Street, Amagansett Square P.O. Box 273 Amagansett NY 11930 Phone: 631-267-3131


Rob said...

Don't forget their location in Amagansett, NY. Diana and I eat there all the time.

Catherine said...

Thanks Rob, I added it!