I have an allergy for sunflower seeds. Are sunflower seeds popular in North Indian food, or is it safe for me to eat whatever is there?

Just sunflower seeds. I am fine with sunflower oil.

  • 2
    Does your allergy extend to sunflower oil as well? Aug 27, 2016 at 23:48
  • 1
    @jpatokal No, just sunflower seeds. I am fine with sunflower oil.
    – shorea2
    Aug 28, 2016 at 0:38
  • 2
    I vote to leave this question open. It might be slightly broad but it is certainly on topic. And while slightly broad, I feel it is important for not more people than just the OP to read the answers. Food alergies are common already and becomming more so.
    – Willeke
    Aug 28, 2016 at 8:40

3 Answers 3


Are sunflower seeds popular in North Indian food?

No. Sesame seeds and mustard seeds are more common.

Is it safe for me to eat whatever is there?

Also no. Just because they're not "popular" doesn't mean they are never used. What kind of allergic reaction do you have to sunflower seeds? If your reaction is mild, then maybe you are willing to risk the unlikely event of your food containing sunflower seeds. But you could always tell the waiter. If you have any sort of serious reaction, then consider the following:

When eating in a restaurant, tell the waiter about your allergy, to make sure there are no sunflower seeds in your dish. If you don't speak the local language, it's better if you get a local to translate this phrase into Hindi or whatever the language is in the region you're going to:

I am allergic to sunflower seeds. It's very important for my health that all food is completely free of sunflower seeds. If I consume sunflower seeds, it can put me in serious danger.

Then print that out, possibly with a small picture of sunflower seeds with a cross over them, and show it to anyone who will be serving you food.

Although you are fine with sunflower oil, other readers should note that sunflower oil is quite common in Indian cooking.

  • 2
    YMMV, but I'm not aware of any common North Indian dishes that contain sunflower seeds. Aug 31, 2016 at 12:33
  • @jpatokal Me neither.
    – Fiksdal
    Aug 31, 2016 at 12:35
  • So, isn't it reasonably safe then? I mean, it's not going to hurt to check, but it does seem a bit paranoid. Aug 31, 2016 at 12:36
  • @jpatokal I'm only advocating it if OP has serious reaction to it. In that case, I would advocate caution. I'd rather print out a card and show it to waiters than risk being hospitalized or something. Depends on the seriousness of allergy. They do sell sunflower seeds in Indian shops, so I can't rule it out just because I'm not aware of it. I'm not sure what goes on in the kitchen, either. I mostly just eat :)
    – Fiksdal
    Aug 31, 2016 at 12:42

no we prefer mustard oil and sunflower is rarely used (it is costly and we do not have many dishes with sunflower) and you do not have to worry and if we do not use that much in local food and if you are eating in reputed restaurant then menu will have all.

  • Mustard oil? Do you mean seeds?
    – Fiksdal
    Aug 31, 2016 at 12:36
  • we only use sunflower oil for some special occasions and sunflower seeds are rarely used. i live there and haven't encountered and such thing with seeds but mustard oil is often used in our daily food Sep 1, 2016 at 6:26
  • OK, I just wanted to clarify that you meant mustard oil, not mustard seeds.
    – Fiksdal
    Sep 1, 2016 at 6:28
  • mustard seeds are used in preparing food too.
    – blvdeer
    Feb 24, 2017 at 12:49

No, Sunflower seeds are not popular and are not used in preparing food in North India

In Northern India, there is a less likely chance of the use of Sunflower Oil or Sunflower Seeds as they are most likely used to Mustard Oil and Seeds.

Although being less probable, one must be cautious enough to mention the issue of allergy prior to ordering food may it be Restaurant or food joints.

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