In just six months, New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza has begun to acquire an unusual fan following in Delhi—37 people who suffer from Celiac disease, or gluten intolerance, are already on its list of regulars.
For Hell Pizza’s first outlet in the Capital, in Greater Kailash-1, offers a world of choice to those who’ve been forced to stick to home food because they are intolerant to gluten. The gourmet pizza outlet offers 40 types of pizzas (including vegetarian, chicken, mixed meat and seafood), six types of pasta, and desserts, including pastries, brownies and mousse—both gluten-free and regular. They also do cakes on order.
Gluten is a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related species. Reaction to it can vary from mild to violent, depending on the allergy level, and cause malabsorption in the intestines.
So a lot of precautions need to be taken by any eatery that provides gluten-free food, says New Zealand-born Ineet Dua, who moved to India with his sister and opened Hell Pizza, a franchise, in January. “We have separate utensils for regular and gluten-free food, including serving dishes. We also prepare the gluten-free flour early in the morning in order to prevent any particles that could contaminate the gluten-free flour,” he says.
The sourcing of the flour is of paramount importance, says Dua. “While there are local gluten-free flour producers in the country, like parts of Punjab, we prefer to import our flour from the most well-known gluten-free flour company in the world, Orgran, based in Australia,” he says. And it’s not just flour. Even the sauces and ketchups need to be sensitive to the needs of gluten-allergic people, and Dua has gluten-free substitutes for all the sauces in his kitchen. Extra care has to be taken not to let even the slightest trace of gluten contaminate the gluten-free flour or dough.
Prices at Hell Pizza are steeper than at other outlets offering similar fare. A basic pizza, for instance, costs more than double of what it would elsewhere. The price difference narrows thereafter.
Hell Pizza, M-22, Greater Kailash-1, New Delhi. A double, gluten-free pizza (Cheesus Christ) at Hell Pizza costs Rs 375 .