Rice Flour To Quinoa: Exploring 10 Gluten-Free Alternatives

Gluten intolerance or celiac disease is a condition that affects a significant number of people worldwide. It necessitates the avoidance of gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. While this can seem challenging, especially in a country like India where wheat-based foods are a staple, there are numerous delicious gluten-free alternatives available. In this article, Let us explore 10 mouthwatering gluten-free alternatives in Indian cuisine that will satisfy your taste buds without compromising your dietary needs.

Rice Flour

Rice flour is an incredibly versatile gluten-free alternative that can be used in various Indian dishes. It is widely used in the preparation of dosas, idlis, and even rotis. Rice flour can also be used as a thickening agent in gravies and soups, making it a staple in gluten-free cooking.


Quinoa, a pseudo-grain native to South America, has gained popularity worldwide as a nutritious gluten-free alternative. In Indian cuisine, quinoa can be used in place of rice to make a wholesome pulao or biryani. It can also be cooked and mixed with vegetables to create a flavorful quinoa upma or salad.

Besan (Chickpea Flour)

Besan, or chickpea flour, is a staple in Indian cooking and an excellent gluten-free alternative to wheat flour. It is commonly used to make delicious dishes like pakoras, chilas (savoury pancakes), and even gluten-free rotis. Besan is packed with protein and imparts a distinct nutty flavour to your dishes.

Buckwheat Flour

Despite its name, buckwheat is not related to wheat and is entirely gluten-free. Buckwheat flour is widely used in Indian cuisine to make gluten-free pancakes called kuttu ke atte ka cheela. It can also be used to make parathas or as a coating for deep-fried snacks like cutlets.

Amaranth Flour

Amaranth flour, derived from the nutritious amaranth grain, is an excellent gluten-free alternative. It is rich in protein, fibre, and essential nutrients. Amaranth flour can be used to make gluten-free rotis and parathas, or even added to soups and stews as a thickening agent.


Millet is a group of small-seeded grains that are gluten-free and highly nutritious. Commonly used millets in Indian cuisine include ragi (finger millet), jowar (sorghum), and bajra (pearl millet). These grains can be ground into flour and used to make rotis, dosas, and even desserts like ragi halwa.

Arrowroot Flour

Arrowroot flour, derived from the root of the arrowroot plant, is an excellent gluten-free alternative for thickening sauces, gravies, and desserts. It is a tasteless and odourless starch that works well in both sweet and savoury preparations. Arrowroot flour can be used to make gluten-free custards, puddings, and even jellies.

Coconut Flour

Coconut flour, made from dried and ground coconut meat, is a fantastic gluten-free option that adds a delightful coconut flavour to your dishes. It is a low-carb and high-fibre alternative that works well in baking. Coconut flour can be used to make gluten-free cakes, cookies, and bread.

Tapioca Flour

Tapioca flour, also known as tapioca starch, is a gluten-free flour derived from the cassava root. It is commonly used in Indian cuisine to make sabudana (tapioca) dishes like sabudana khichdi or vada. Tapioca flour can also be used as a thickening agent in soups, stews, and puddings.

Nut Flours

Various nut flours, such as almond flour and cashew flour, are naturally gluten-free and add a rich flavour to your dishes. These flours are commonly used in gluten-free baking, providing a moist and nutty texture to cakes, cookies, and bread. Nut flours can also be used as a coating for frying or as a base for crusts in savoury dishes.

Maintaining a gluten-free diet in India can be a challenge, but with these 10 tasty alternatives, you can explore the delicious world of gluten-free Indian cuisine. Rice flour, quinoa, besan, buckwheat flour, amaranth flour, millet, arrowroot flour, coconut flour, tapioca flour, and nut flour offer a wide range of options to create mouthwatering dishes while catering to your gluten-free needs. So, embrace these alternatives, experiment with new recipes, and enjoy the flavorful journey of gluten-free Indian cuisine!