Exploring Versatile Uses of Rice Flour in Indian Cuisine

Rice is the staple food of many Indians. It has a rich nutritious profile. Rice, rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals, plays a crucial role in human diet.

Usually, rice is boiled for consumption. Rice flour, obtained by grinding rice grains, is used to make a variety of delicious dishes in India.

Let us take a look at what Indians make with rice flour.

Uses of Rice Flour in Indian Cuisines

Uses of Rice Flour in Indian Cuisine

In Bengal, rice flour is used to make pancakes, which Bongs lovingly call peetha or peethe.

Rice flour is mixed with suji (rawa) to make a dropping batter that is spread on a tawa and pan-fried.

Ghee is used to enrich flavour and prevent the batter from sticking to the pan.

Peetha is stuffed with kheer or coconut-jaggery mixture flavoured with cardamom powder.

These days, many homecooks use maida (refined flour) instead of rice flour to make peetha.

However, rural areas still stick to the traditional recipes that use rice flour.

Another great use of rice flour is it works as a great thickening agent. Though cornflower is also used for the same purpose, using rice flour while making a mixture makes the fried stuff crispier.

Rice flour roti is a different kind of chapati. Rice flour is kneaded with water or milk to form a batter. It tastes best with coconut drape. Try it someday to take a refreshing break from regular atta ke chapathi.

Pathiri is a kind of South Indian roti prepared with rice flour. It is mostly eaten in Malabar region and usually served with flavourful curries.

The most versatile use of rice flour is found in South Indian cuisines. Dosa is probably the most popular snack from the south that has got the cult pan-India status.

Fermented rice-dal batter is usually used to make dosa. However, you can mix rava and rice flour and achieve the same kind of crispiness.

Appam is said to be one of the most satisfying breakfast dishes, especially when the smooth flowing batter is made with rice flour and milk.

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It is another popular South Indian street food that is popular across the country and also served in celebrity restaurants.

Idli is another South Indian delicacy that makes a decent use of rice flour. It is an ideal breakfast for both the school children and office-goers.

The best part of idli is you can make it without any oil or ghee, which makes it a perfect choice for the health-conscious folks.

A different kind of dosa! Utappam is prepared with rice flour, carrots and onions. It is yummy and nutritious as well.

Idiyappam is another South India delight. Also known as string hoppers, it is steamed noodle pancakes.

Athirasam is a traditional sweet from Tamil Nadu. Rice flour is the main ingredient whereas cardamom brings the soothing flavour to this nutritive snack.

Give a break to your routine relish; instead try something different yet delicious.

Vadam could be a great refreshing escape from the familiar taste of regular side dishes in your lunch. A mix of rice flour, asafetida powder, salt, jeeragam, green chillies and water is boiled in a vessel.

Different shapes are made from the mixture. You can try both the steamed and fried version.

If it comes to the cooking process, rice flour vada is not much different from ordinary vada.

However, rice flour brings a distinct identity in the taste and the outputs are much crispier.

If you wish, give different shapes to make an appealing presentation on the platter. Deep-fried rice flour vada tastes yummiest with tea or coffee.

Rice flour upma is a twist to traditional upma made from rava. You have to create the magic with rice flour, oats, wheat flour and ragi. A healthy and yummy breakfast to start your day on a happy note!

Rice flour is the king in rice flour adai, with chopped onions, coriander leaves and curry leaves playing in the supporting roles.

The process of making it resembles the cooking of dosa. You can call it vegetable dosa and the pancake will give your taste buds an escape from tiring dishes.

Kuzhi Paniyaram is truly a 2-minute recipe. It is a comforting snack that you will love to relish at the end of a hectic day in your office.

Kozhukattai is a traditional dish made on Vinayagar Chathurthi. A soft batter is prepared with rice flour and water.

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A mix of coconut and sugar is usually used to stuff inside though people in different regions use different ingredients for stuffing.

Thatta is a healthy snack for people across all age groups. The flat round-shaped stuffs made with rice flour and chilli powder are deep fried in oil.

Ribbon pagoda! The name sounds pretty interesting. It resembles ribbon-like shapes and so, has got the name. These are fried in oil. The crispiness is best enjoyed with hot tea or coffee.

Seddai is a tasty snack made from rice flour, urad dal powder, chilli powder and salt. Small balls are made from the mixture and deep fried in oil.

Rice flour with coconut drape is steamed for 3-4 minutes to make puttu. Served with sugar, banana and vellum, these rice-flour rolls are great for people of all ages. It is traditionally served with kadala curry.

Omapodi is a crispy snack prepared with besan flour, rice flour, omam, red chilli powder, asafoetida powder, ghee and salt. The mixture is set inside an omapodi plate having small holes previously brushed with oil.

Murukku is a snack prepared with rice flour, sesame seeds and salt. To cook perfect murukku, it is important to get the right kind of consistency. It is deep fried in oil to achieve the crispiness because that is what people love it for.

Achu murukku is made with rice flour, refined flour, coconut milk and powdered sugar. These are deep fried in oil.

Modal is a traditional sweet made during Ganapati festival. Modak is prepared from rice flour, jaggery and coconut.

How Does Rice Flour Taste?

Rice flour has a mild and slightly sweet taste. Its flavor is not as strong as wheat flour and it has a more delicate texture.

However, the taste and texture of rice flour can vary depending on how it is processed and the type of rice used.

For example, brown rice flour has a nuttier flavor than white rice flour. In general, rice flour is versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes to add a subtle, pleasant taste.

How Do You Make Rice Flour?

Rice flour can be made at home by grinding uncooked rice in a blender or food processor until it becomes a fine powder.

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To make it even finer, the rice flour can be sifted through a fine-mesh sieve.

It is important to use a dry blender or food processor and work in small batches to prevent clumping.

Alternatively, rice flour can be made by soaking rice in water for several hours, draining the water, and then grinding the rice into a paste with a mortar and pestle or a wet grinder.

The paste is then spread thinly and dried in the sun or in a low-temperature oven, and finally ground into a fine powder.

Homemade rice flour is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of recipes, including baked goods, noodles, and coatings for fried foods.

Questions & Answers:

Is Rice Flour Good for Baking?

Yes, rice flour is very good for baking. It easily brings crispiness and brownish colour to the baked goods. Rice flour contains no gluten and so makes a perfect choice to be used in baking for those with gluten intolerance.

Can You Use Rice Flour for Frying?

Yes, you can coat stuff with rice flour before frying. This way, fried stuff will be crispier and crunchier.

Will Rice Flour Make Food Crispy?

Yes, rice flour makes the food crispy.

What is Rice Flour Called in Different Languages?

Rice flour is called ‘chaler ata’ in Bengali and ‘chawal ka atta’ in Hindi. It is known as ‘chokha na lot’ in Gujrati, ‘Tandlache, Peeth’ in Marathi, ‘Arisi maavu’ in Tamil, ‘Biyyappu Pindi’ in Telugu, ‘Akki hittu’ Kannada and ‘Aripodi’ in Malayalam.


Rice flour is an important ingredient in Indian cuisine, with numerous uses in both sweet and savory dishes.

From traditional sweets to healthy breakfast options, rice flour adds a distinct taste and texture to food.

While some recipes may be losing their traditional charm due to the increasing use of refined flour, rice flour is still an essential ingredient in many households across the country.

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