National Curry Week – Best Gluten Free Supermarket Sides


curry 2


Ashoka – Bombay Biryani


‘Good heat after the spices’ 4/5

‘Good texture and strong flavour. The grains are a good length too, but it is perhaps a bit salty’ 3/5

‘Warm spice and the rice has a nice soft and sticky texture. Not too stodgy and the it’s got a nice appearance’ 4/5

‘Looks really good and colourful and the taste matches the appearance. Spicy and soft but the veg is very rubbery.’ 4/5

Uncle Ben’s Veg Pilau Rice

uncle bens

‘Good Savoury taste like golden rice packet. Really nice visually as well’ 4/5

‘Bland and no real flavour. Nice texture to the rice though’ 2/5

‘Quite citrusy taste, really different to other microwaveable rice. Nice appearance too’ 4/5

‘Bland, not much too it’ 1/5

‘The appearance is really nice and fresh. There’s good colour and a nice chilli flavour’ 3/5

‘Flavoursome and very fragrant’ 5/5

‘Bland with a slight after taste’ 2/5

Veetee Peri Peri Rice


‘Vibrant to look at, but it’s not exactly natural looking.’ 2/5

‘Poor flavour profile and very mushy’ 1/5

‘Is this sweet and sour? bland appearance and weird ‘tomatoey’ taste’

‘Soft texture and very subtle flavour’ 3/5

‘Colourful appearance. Strong chilli and tomato taste, nice texture too.’ 4/5

Tilda – Lime & Coriander Rice

tilda lime

‘Nice and citrusy. Almost a thai infused rice. Good texture and herb distribution. Tastes a lot better than it looks’ 4/5

‘Strong lime and coriander flavour. Good grain length and nice texture in the rice.’ 4/5

‘Not a nice flavour, but the rice texture is good.’ 1/5


Geeta’s – Premium mango Chutney


‘Nice and sweet but not much sweet. Really like the onion seeds, very authentic’ 4/5

‘Sweet flavour, and good chunks of fruit. Very moreish’ 4/5

‘Nice kick – good flavours and variety of tastes.’ 5/5

Tesco – Cucumber Raita Dip


‘A bit sour and a poor after taste’ 1/5

‘Too artificial and gloopy. Not sure whether garlic mayo or raita?’ 2/5

‘Great flavour and better than most raita’s I’ve tasted. Good thickness. Has it got cheese in?’ 4/5

Tesco finest – Mango chutney

tesco finest

‘Flavours not balanced. Too strong and the appearance isn’t the best’ 3/5

‘Strange spice and very thick’ 1/5

‘Darker than others – looks like sweet and sour not mango chutney’ 3/5

‘Awful’ 0/5

Patak’s Mango Chutney


‘lumps are too big, and the flavours not balanced it’s far too strong’ 2/5

‘Sweet but too runny’ 2/5

‘Really nice, fruity and sweet.’ 4/5

‘Very nice, lovely fruity flavour and the textures superb.’ 5/5


Sharwoods’ Mango Chutney



‘Very moreish because of it’s tangy core. Very smooth appearance’ 4/5

‘Tastes like cardboard.’ 0/5

‘Could do with added chilli flakes or fruit pieces. Better flavour than expected though.’ 4/5

‘Strong kick and aftertaste. Very fruity!’ 4/5


Tesco – 8 Plain Pappadums

poppadoms Tesco

‘Good solid crunch, not very thick though and slightly bland’ 1/5

‘Crispier rather than crunch. Very tasty though.’ 4/5

‘Bland and it leaves slight residue in the mouth’ 1/5

Morrisons – Plain Poppadoms



‘Some spice to it, good flavour and crunch.’ 3/5

‘Just your standard poppadom really.’ 4/5

‘Poor appearance and the texture isn’t the best. A bit too salty. Nice and crunchy though.’ 2/5

Patak’s Poppadoms


‘Good bite and nice fried taste’ 5/5

‘Oily appearance but very crisp and tasty’ 3/5

‘Slight spice kick, and it has a good crunch.’ 3/5

‘Looks homemade when it comes out the microwave. Bubbly texture and very crispy.’ 5/5


Tesco – Free From Pitta Breads

tesco pittas

‘Bland taste, but the texture was quite bubbly. Felt it crumble as soon as it went in my mouth.’ 3/5

‘Dry, no flavour, no salt.’ 0/5

‘Dry.’ 2/5

‘Dry bread and it’s very bland. Tastes quite starchy and floury.’ 1/5

Tesco – Garlic Coriander Naan

garlic naan

‘Very strong flavour but not in a good way.’ 1/5

‘Moister than other gluten free naans and slightly more gooey than expected.’ 4/5

‘Looks really good, but once again it was dry and with little spice.’ 3/5

Livwell Garlic & Coriander Naan bread


‘Looks like it should be full of flavour, but it’s not.’ 1/5

‘Visually it’s very nice but it’s more like a pitta bread. Very dry and bland. Nice herb usage though.’ 3.5/5

‘Preferred this naan than the other 2. It has a very floury mouth feel though.’ 3/5


Curry Sides


gf naan
Whether it be for mopping up the left over curry sauce or to provide a soft absorbent base layer, bread is a perfect accompaniment for the much loved curry. Flatbreads and naans are the most popular sides and they can be made and bought gluten free. To add an extra element to your free from naan add cheese and chilli which are both naturally gluten free ingredients. Find below Coeliac UK’s recipe for a soft pillowy naan bread:

200g (8 oz) Gluten Free Flour
1 tsp dried yeast or ¼ oz fresh yeast
1½ tsp sugar
3½ fl oz hand hot milk
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp gluten free baking powder
½ egg beaten
1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp yoghurt

– Dissolve the yeast and the sugar in the milk and leave in a warm place for 10 minutes until frothy.
– Sieve together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
– Add the yeast mixture, oil and yoghurt and mix to a soft dough. Place in a greased plastic bag and leave in a warm place for 45-60 minutes.
– Dust a surface with gluten free flour and kneed the dough for 1 minute.
– Divide into 4 pieces shape in to ovals and cook under preheated grill for 2-3 minutes


Rice is the most common and most effective accompaniment for curry. An unadorned rice is normally the preference for a lot of curry eaters as it provides a stable and unenthused foundation for the curries flavours and spices. This being said, a lot of curry lovers enjoy an equally exciting rice with their main dish and at ilumi we’re not short of flavoursome sides that will enhance your favourite curries.


White Long Grain Rice


Yellow Basmati Rice

Mushroom Rice copy 2

Spiced Mushroom Rice

Piri Piri Portuguese Rice copy 2

Piri Piri Portuguese Style Rice


Brown Long Grain Rice


Rice & Chickpea Mix

Reduced-Image---Kashmiri-Rice_Front 2

Kashmiri Easy Cook Rice

Tip: A sprinkling of saffron or curry leaves will add an extra citrusy tang to your rice.



Our Lentil Dahl complements many a curry, with its warm fragrant spices of cumin, cardamom and cinnamon. Dhal is a delicious and healthy alternative to more traditional curry sides, however it can be complemented and made that bit more entertaining with the addition of fried onion, coriander or chilli flakes.




Lentil Dahl



Samosas are again commonplace on the menus of Indian restaurants and curry houses. The ‘Indian Cornish pasty’ can be filled with either meat or veg and is also popular both mild and hot. With the creation of the samosa being so open to alteration depending on a persons taste, this makes a gluten free alternative that bit simpler to produce. You can follow a regular samosa recipe but instead of using plain flour you’ll need a blend soy, rice, tapioca and potato flour.

Tom Catterick – Interview


Tom Catterick




Fly half


Newcastle Falcons


I started playing rugby when I was about 4 or 5 when my dad took me down to our local club. Since then I’ve never really looked back to be honest, I played pretty much any sport growing up but rugby was the most constant.

I moved school in year 8 to Barnard Castle and it was there where I was picked up by the Newcastle Falcons Academy aged 15.

I continued training at school and with the academy, and then at 18 I signed a contract to go full time with the 1st team, and i’m still here today, enjoying it as much as ever.

Career highlight?

Earning my first England age group cap at under 16 level against Wales

Talk us through your weekly schedule…

If we have a game on Saturday our weekly schedule usually starts with a Monday morning meeting about the previous game, one meeting as a team and then separate meeting as forwards and backs.

After the meeting we walk through any little detail changes we think we need to clear up, then its recovery time with food and massages.

Tuesday is the high intensity day where we will do a weights session and two field sessions, the first session we separate into backs and forwards and concentrate on what we need to achieve as a unit and our second session is a team session, usually with a fair bit of contact and a lot of running.

Wednesday is our day to relax and recover from the day before, so some of us head to our gym and get in the pool or Jacuzzi.

Thursday is what we called a moderate intensity day where we have a gym session and one field session that contains pretty much no contact and a little less running.

Friday is a simple team run where we practice some of the plays we want to take into the game the next day. It’s a very short, sharp, high intensity session that lasts no more than 30 mins.

Saturday is game day and Sunday is a day off with some recovery involved.

Tom catterick falcons.jpg 2

Talk us through your diet. What do you eat? why? and how does this effect your performance and recovery?

I like to eat a lot of chicken. It’s simple, easy to cook and tastes pretty good no matter what sauce you have with it. I eat a lot of rice because, once again, it’s very easy to cook and i’m not the heaviest guy so I need to keep my carbs in there to keep my weight on and the energy high.

The last thing you want to do when training a lot is have no energy through cutting out carbs, as it can lead to lower muscle function and increase in injury risk.

As a professional rugby player, which foods are essential in your diet?

Chicken, turkey, pasta , rice and avocado.

Why are these foods essential?

These food are essential for me because it means I have a good balance of protein, carbs and fats.

They allow my body to recover from training and also refuel the energy stores that have been depleted from running around and tackling guys a lot bigger than I am.

If you’ve had an over indulgent summer and you want to get fit and ready for the new season, what do you do? How do you change your diet?

If I’ve had a big summer, the first thing I do is get back into the gym. I start trying to get back into good habits with lifting weights and running. Of course along with that I alter my diet, so that if I’ve put a little bit too much fat on, ill drop my carbs a little and up my fats and protein, still keeping carbs in there but almost always around training times.

When you’re injured how do you adjust your diet to prevent weight gain?

Big thing when your injured is adjusting your portion sizes. If you tend to eat exactly the same amount as you did when you were training with the team that’s when you gain weight. so I adjust my portions, and again, base all my carbs around my training times – very similar to my off season training.

Finally…..who’ll win the world cup?

I’d like to think England can on their home patch!


National Cupcake Week

National Cupcake Week is dedicated to promoting the innovation of the industry and to helping the bakery business boost their sales.

The week, which has been running since 2013, is organised by British Baker magazine which is the only title to cover the whole of the baking industry.

Their aim is to try an encourage and celebrate exotic flavours and creative recipes of cupcakes from all over Britain.

We thought we’d do our bit for the gluten and milk free community and share some of our favourite free from cupcake recipes with you so you can celebrate national cupcake week in style!

– These delightful gluten free vanilla cupcakes come from our neighbours Delicious Alchemy, check out the recipe below:

gf cupcakes

For the cupcakes
1 x 400g Delicious Alchemy vanilla sponge mix
180g unsalted butter or dairy free alternative
3 large eggs
20ml water

For the buttercream
150g unsalted butter or 120g dairy free alternative
300g icing sugar
1½ tbsp milk or dairy free alternative
Sprinkles for decoration
For the cake
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan. Line a cupcake tin with 12 paper cases.

Make sure your butter (or dairy free alternative) is soft. Place the vanilla cake mix, butter (or dairy free alternative), eggs and water into a large bowl. Beat together with an electric whisk for 15 seconds. Stop, scrape down the bowl and mix for a further 10 seconds. Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases, filling three-quarters full. Bake for 18-20 minutes until risen and springy to the touch.

Leave to cool in the tin for 3 minutes before lifting out and leaving to cool completely.

For the buttercream
In a large bowl, beat the butter or dairy free alternative with a spatula or electric whisk until it is soft and smooth. Sift in half the icing sugar and mix well until combined. Sift over the remaining icing sugar and mix well, adding the milk or dairy free alternative as required, to create a soft spreadable icing. Beat well to make it light and fluffy.

To decorate
Spoon the icing into a piping bag fitted with a large star or plain nozzle. Pipe swirls of icing onto the top of your cooled cupcakes. Alternatively you can spread it on using a butter knife.

Decorate your cupcakes as desired. We love a scattering of colourful sprinkles.

– Great dairy free chocolate cupcake recipe from the wonderful Recipe Girl:

dairy free cupcakes


3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup melted coconut oil, cooled (can sub vegetable or canola oil)
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups cold water
1 cup dairy free mini chocolate chips (I used the “Enjoy Life” brand)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with 30 cupcake papers.
Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl (flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cocoa powder) and whisk to combine. Add oil, vinegar, vanilla and water to the dry ingredients. Whisk to combine the wet and dry ingredients. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Bake for 18 minutes, or until the cupcakes are firm to the touch in the middles. Let cool completely, and frost with your favorite dairy free icing. See the tips below for my icing recommendation!

– We’ll end with one for the dairy and gluten free cake lovers, we found this recipe on, take a look at how you can make these petit sponge cakes:

gluten and dairy free


180g plain flour
200g sugar
80ml vegetable oil)
240ml water
1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
1 teaspoon gluten-free bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon vinegar or 1 tablespoon orange juice


Preheat oven to 180°C Oil and line a round cake tin.
Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Use an egg whisk to aerate- their is no need to sift the dry ingredients.
Using a mixing jug, beat the oil, vinegar, vanilla and water together. Mix well.
Make a well in the flour mix and add the wet mix. Beat this together slowly and when mixed through beat with a wooden spoon for a couple of minutes.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. The mixture should be the consistency of a thick batter. Cook 45-60 minutes.
When cooked, remove the cake from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes before turning out to cool.
Decorate as desired.



Tips on Cooking at a Festival

Eating out at festivals can be an expensive, junk-fuelled binge – or, if you want to get yourself back home in one piece, you can treat yourself to some goodness while out in the field. Here are a couple of our top tips! …

  • Purchase a quality camp stove. (You will be cursing it if you don’t!)
  • Always bring extra matches.
  • If you’re creating a proper fire (rather than over a stove), bring a grill or grate to put over the fire.
  • If possible, purchase a separate set of dishes including cutlery, pans, kitchen towel, sponges & soap, just for your camping trips. Store them in a plastic container that can be pulled out and ready to go for each trip.
  • Decant cooking supplies & food into smaller quantities in small plastic containers, saving you a bit of packing space.
  • Don’t forget a tin opener and (possibly more importantly!) a bottle opener
  • Get a sponge that has a scrubber on one side, to make washing pots and dishes easier.
  • Swiss Army type pocketknives are not good substitutes for a real corkscrew. Bring the real thing if you plan to have wine.
  • Invest in a spork (fork / spoon combo!)
  • Bring plenty of your own water with you – you’ll need to keep hydrated and bottled water on site will be twice the price you could get it in a supermarket. Maybe try a collapsible water carrier.
  • If you can’t be bothered to cook, bring some tapas – packs of sundried tomato or olives, cheese, ham and pita breads will give you a continental, European style supper that will satisfy.
  • If you do decide to eat out, check the stall hygiene rating (they should have these) and trust your instincts – if you’re not sure, or wouldn’t eat it at home, avoid at all costs!
  • Check what fuel types you are allowed to bring – some festivals won’t allowed open flames. Additionally – double check whether you are allowed glass on site as you’ll need to think about alternative drinks or decanting it if you like a bit of a tipple of wine!
  • Take some campfire treats (toasted marshmallows anyone?)
  • Bring a handful of ilumi one-pot gluten-free meals with you – easy, hot & fulfilling. Take other pre-prepared snacks like porridge pots, rice noodle pots which you can just add water or hot milk to.

Top Tips for a Gluten Free Takeaway

We all know that takeaway foods are an easy solution for those times when we just don’t have the time to cook. However, even if you only indulge occasionally, what goes into your takeaway can be particularly bad news if you have coeliac disease or are gluten intolerant.

In addition to containing some not-so-healthy ingredients such as high levels of fat, salt, high-fructose corn syrup and monosodium glutamate (MSG), many common takeaways will also trigger your coeliac symptoms, making your treat meal not so much of a treat!

So if you have coeliac disease or are gluten intolerant, here are a few key things to look out for when indulging in a takeaway.

Indian food is the second most popular type of takeaway in the UK. The main items to steer clear of here are bread-based foods such as naan. Traditional poppadoms tend to be gluten-free, so are a better option, but you need to double-check with the restaurant regarding cross-contamination, especially if they’re cooked in the same oil as other foods containing gluten. You’d also be wise to check about the sauces in your dish, just to make sure all the ingredients are gluten-free.

Pizza is also a very popular UK takeaway option, and since most traditional pizza bases are made using wheat flour, you should avoid them at all costs. However, with takeaway establishments becoming more aware of coeliac disease and food intolerances, many are now offering gluten-free pizza on their menus. Domino’s, for example, has a gluten-free crust option, and Pizza Hut and Pizza Express also offer gluten-free bases.

Fast-food takeaway meals such as the classic burger and chips also have many limitations where gluten is concerned. However, even fast-food giants like McDonalds are starting to cater with a little more awareness and offer a selection of gluten-free products, including French fries, hash browns and salads. It’s important to be aware, though, that McDonalds says it cannot guarantee these foods will not be subject to cross-contamination (and this is something you should definitely consider and be cautious of with any type of takeaway).

Fish and chips is another British classic, and comes up again and again in our surveys as one of the meals you miss most after going gluten-free. The good news is that more and more local chippies are offering gluten-free fish and chips, at least occasionally, and according to our fans, some of them are quite tasty! If you see gluten-free fish and chips on offer at your local, then, go ahead and rejoice – but you might also want to double-check with the owner that he’s using a dedicated fryer for your dinner, with new oil that hasn’t been used to fry anything else. Check out our guide to gluten free chippy’s here.

We all know how appealing a Chinese takeaway on a Saturday night can be! It also happens to be the number one takeaway choice in the UK. The key foods you need to avoid when ordering are wheat noodles and soy sauce, and despite the fact that meat, fish and vegetables are naturally gluten-free, you should also check or request that they are not cooked in any soy sauce or oil that has been used to fry other foods.

Even if you remove the gluten from the classic takeaway favourites, though, many of them still don’t provide great nutritional value. That’s one big reason ilumi have now created a Chinese Takeaway range, which offers the convenience factor and the confidence of being guaranteed gluten-free, in addition to tasting even better than your regular takeaway. Plus, our meals are a good deal healthier!

For a limited time*, you can get three Chinese meals for the price of two just in time for Chinese New Year. Click here to visit our Chinese cuisine page and once you’ve chosen your meals use the code: CHINESENY at the checkout.

Offer ends midnight Monday 8th Feb 2016.

Offer subject to stock availability.