Navratri 2023: 6 Fasting-Friendly Flours To Use For Cooking
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Wheat flour plays a key role in most Indian kitchens when it comes to cooking meals; from rotis, puris, parathas and ladoos, this grain-based ingredient is a basic necessity for the functioning of a household’s meals. However, during the festive period of Navratri, where plenty of people observe fasting, refraining from consuming grain-based food is one of the dietary restrictions that are followed. Based on the type of fasting individuals choose to observe, finding ingredients that can serve multiple utilities to make ‘vrat food as satiating as a regular meal is tricky.

Hence, using gluten-free flours that can be consumed by everyone, makes filling recipes or offers itself up as a replacement for wheat flour, is ideal. Given the sheer variety of fasting foods that are prepared and consumed during this time, being mindful of the nutritional value of each meal will allow one to feel satisfied as well as healthy. Here are six different types of flours that are perfect to cook with while fasting, and enjoy their versatile purposes in the kitchen.

Buckwheat Flour

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Also known popularly as kuttu ka aata, buckwheat flour is one of the widely used varieties during Navratri. A gluten-free flour that is rich in fibre, calcium and protein, buckwheat flour offers itself to various recipes – from rotis, puri, parathas, ladoo and even cakes or cookies.

Samo Flour

A type of millet – samo or sama ke chawal is meant to be a replacement for rice while observing a fast. Often times, the millets are cooked into preparations like pulao, khichdi, idlis and kheer. Lightly toasting and grinding the millets can also produce a batch of the flour which is ideal to make porridge or use as coating for cutlets and to make bhakri.

Rajgira Flour

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Rajgira or amaranth flour is a whole-grain flour packed with nutrients that aid weight-loss, as well as keeps one full during the fasting period. The high-fibre content of the flour is also known to boost bone health, aid in digestion and is ideal to consume in similar ways as buckwheat flour. Rajgira or amaranth seeds are also used commonly to make sweets, crackers, in salads and smoothies for their nutritional value.

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Tapioca Flour

Although sago pearls are often enjoyed in their original form during Navratri fasting, the flour made by grinding the sabudana is a gluten-free yet highly starchy flour. Ideal for making dosas, dhokla, sheera, thalipeeth and kheer, tapioca flour has a slight stickiness which can be worked with using plenty of ghee or oil – in both, sweet and savoury recipes.

Singhara Flour

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This fruit-based flour made with Indian water chestnuts is one of the best types of flours to use for meals that require you to stay full for longer. Consuming this flour in the form of pakora, halwa, uttapams and puris prevents the tendency to binge on fatty foods, as well as keeping up consistent energy levels in the body. The high-fibre flour also takes longer to digest compared to its fasting counterparts, making it a substantial ingredient for children and adults engaging in physical activity.

Almond Flour

Craving something sweet but also ideal to consume during a fast? Swap the regular flour in a recipe with almond flour. Used most popularly for cakes, cookies and crumbles, almond flour is also perfect to make ladoos, barfi and buttery halwa. Made with ground almonds, this flour has a rich, nutty texture which works well when paired with mellow sweet flavours like saffron and cinnamon.