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Disclaimer: Mangala Deshmukh is NOT a licensed Dietician/ Nutritionist.
The information on this website is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose, cure or treat any medical or other condition. Always seek the advice of your health provider prior to starting any diet.

We usually turn to Rice when confronted with wheat allergy or the need to stay away from Gluten. Rice flour is the base of most cake, cookie, bread and all purpose gluten free flour mixes. Rice, however, does not provide great nutrition and the dough can be quite crumbly, especially when made egg free. I have combined two amazingly nutritious gluten free flours—Amaranth and Sorghum, with a starch for binding, to produce fantastic puris, rotis and parathas. Amaranth, (the Indian Rajgira) and Sorghum (Jowar in India) are easily available, and not just in the Indian stores, but also in specialty food markets and increasingly in mainstream grocery stores in the US.

Amaranth is an excellent source of protein which contains those amino acids that are usually found only in animal foods. It is loaded with fiber, iron, calcium, vitamins and minerals, and is significantly more nutritious than whole wheat. The name ‘Amaranth’ itself comes from the Latin root word ‘amar’, meaning long-lived. Relate it to the Sanskrit ‘amar’ which means ‘immortal’!

Sorghum is one of the oldest known grains, very nutritious, and high in iron, calcium and potassium. Because the protein and starch in sorghum are digested more slowly than that of other cereals, it has a glycemic index that is among the lowest of all food grains.

I combine Amaranth and Sorghum, with corn starch for binding (use Tapioca starch if corn is an issue) and I add a very small quantity of a type of gum—Xanthan gum. You could also use another gum called Guar gum. Both are available in specialty food stores. Gums are used frequently in gluten free foods, because they help to create the spongy, elastic texture which gluten provides. I do not use soy as it is an established allergenic food and I also stay away from chick pea and varied bean flours as they may not suit one and all.

Your chapattis will be easier to roll, the edges will not be uneven and even a thinly rolled chapatti will not tear. In fact, wheat eating family members will hardly be able to tell the difference. It does take a little bit of practice if you have not worked with gluten free flours before, but take it from me, it only gets better and soon enough you will want to make allergy free puris for everyone!


Amaranth Flour / Rajgira Atta – 1 cup (3.8 ounces)
Sorghum Flour / Jawar Atta – 1 cup (4.4 ounces)
Cornstarch – ¾ cup (3.4 ounces)
Xanthan Gum – 1 tsp
Salt – ½ tsp

1. In a large bowl, mix all flours well taking care that bowl and mixing spoons are dry.
2. Mix in Salt and Xanthan Gum and mix both well into the flours.
3. Make double the quantity if you like and store in dry, airtight jars

To retain freshness, place jar/s in the fridge.

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