7 Gluten-Free Ingredients to Transform Your Cooking

Gluten allergies and the gluten-free diet have gained significant attention in recent years. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, and it can cause adverse reactions in individuals with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. It's important to understand the intricacies of gluten allergies, the principles of a gluten-free diet, and its potential benefits for weight loss. Therefore, let's get into the world of gluten-free ingredients suitable for Indian cooking, so that individuals with gluten sensitivities can still enjoy the rich and diverse flavours of Indian cuisine while maintaining a gluten-free lifestyle. 

Gluten allergies encompass a spectrum of conditions, the most well-known being celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which the consumption of gluten triggers an immune response that damages the small intestine's lining. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity, on the other hand, is characterized by symptoms similar to celiac disease but without the autoimmune component. Both conditions necessitate strict use of gluten-containing foods to alleviate symptoms and prevent long-term health complications.  

A gluten-free diet is the primary treatment for gluten-related disorders. It eliminates all sources of gluten, including wheat, barley, and rye, along with their derivatives in food products. This diet involves substituting gluten-containing grains with naturally gluten-free alternatives like rice, corn, quinoa, and gluten-free oats. It also relies on gluten-free flours such as almond flour, coconut flour, and chickpea flour for baking and cooking. 

In our Indian kitchens, there are several gluten-free grains and flours that can be used to create a wide range of delicious dishes. Here are seven gluten-free options: 


Rice, a gluten-free staple in Indian cuisine, serves as the foundation for numerous iconic dishes. It's the essential ingredient for fragrant biryanis, flavorful pulaos, and crispy dosas. Among its many varieties, Basmati rice stands out for its enticing aroma and long, slender grains, making it a preferred choice in the creation of delectable Indian meals. 


Cornmeal, derived from maize, is a gluten-free gem in North Indian culinary traditions. It takes centre stage in the preparation of makki ki roti, a rustic flatbread that perfectly complements the iconic "sarson da saag." The coarsely ground texture of cornmeal lends a unique, earthy flavour and delightful crunch to this traditional, winter-favourite meal, cherished for its gluten-free appeal. 


Chickpea flour, known as besan, is a versatile gluten-free ingredient in Indian cuisine. Ground from chickpeas, it finds application in a wide range of dishes. Besan forms the crispy coating for pakoras, transforms into savoury besan chilla (pancakes), and acts as a natural thickening agent in curries, enhancing both texture and flavour. Its adaptability makes it a staple in Indian kitchens.  

Kuttu ka Atta

Buckwheat, known as kuttu, enjoys frequent usage in Hindu fasting practices. It serves as the primary ingredient in dishes like kuttu ki puri and kuttu dosa, offering nourishing and satisfying alternatives during religious fasting periods. 

Sorghum Jowar  

Sorghum, or jowar, is a gluten-free grain popular in regions like Gujarat and parts of Maharashtra. Ground into flour, it provides an excellent option for making gluten-free rotis and bhakris, traditional unleavened flatbreads. Jowar's versatility in these regions allows individuals to enjoy their staple foods without gluten-related concerns. 


Millet flours like finger millet (ragi), pearl millet (bajra), and foxtail millet (kangni) are gluten-free grains extensively employed in diverse Indian cuisine. Ragi flour is notably featured in dishes like ragi dosa, a nutritious and fermented pancake, and ragi mudde, a wholesome, steamed dumpling. These millet flours add a nutritional boost while catering to gluten-free dietary preferences.