Where: Sitti, Raleigh, NC
GF Menu: No. When I asked, the server said they did not have a GF menu, but immediately began pointing out all the GF options to me.
What I ate: Okra stew – lamb stew cooked with baby okra, onions, and spices in a tomato sauce. Served with Sitti rice. (Sitti rice is described as containing vermicelli noodles and is topped with roasted almonds). GF Caution: vermicelli noodles.
How to order it: If you wish to order this meal (or any meal that comes with a side of the Sitti rice), you may want to ask for the plain rice just to be safe. The server offered me plain rice, but I, somewhat stubbornly, asked to try the Sitti rice instead. I should have asked what kind of vermicelli was used.
Vermicelli (which means “little worms” in Italian) is a very thin type of pasta, traditionally made in Italy from semolina/durum wheat. However, in South and East Asian cuisine, vermicelli can also refer to extremely thin noodles made from rice (which appear whitish) or even mung beans (which appear translucent when cooked). However, there is still another version of Chinese vermicelli that is made with wheat. So, dear GF reader, watch out for those elusive “little worms”! When in doubt, ask. Sitti’s staff was very accommodating and double-checked on the ingredients of the okra stew for me without me even asking.
What it looks like:
Okra stew with lamb. If they wanted to call it “Lamb Stew with Okra”, that would probably work just as well. Tender chunks of lamb in a complex, but not overpowering spicy sauce. The okra was not overcooked. Do ask for plain rice.
Green Note: Sitti uses cloth napkins, which saves countless trees and prevents more waste from entering a landfill. The average American uses about 2,200 paper napkins a year. See #10 at 50 Ways to Help the Planet.