Why Is Wheat Flour Roasted Before Making Sweets?

Do you remember the school days when you used to enter the house filled with the aroma of roasted atta? This is one of the reasons why nostalgia kicks in when you pass by a community kitchen in a Gurudwara. The intoxicating aroma of roasted wheat flour indicates that something delicious and sweet is being cooked in the house or kitchen. 

Video Credit: Chef Ranveer Brar/ YouTube

However, have you stopped to wonder why atta is roasted before using it in the kitchen for other purposes beyond making flatbread or bread? Here is a short guide to feed your curiosity regarding why and how to roast wheat flour before making delightful sweets.

Why Is Wheat Flour Roasted Before Making Sweets?

Whether you are making kada prasad or panji to offer to Gods and Goddesses or ladoo and cookies for loved ones and guests, the first step is to roast the wheat flour. Here is why it is tossed in a hot kadhai, especially in monsoon,

  • Adds nutty aroma to the dish
  • Prevents infestation by pests
  • Reduces staleness
  • Increases shelf life
  • Avoids build-up of mildew and mould
  • Prevents absorption of moisture

Also Read: 7 Tips To Prevent Food From Spoilage During Monsoon

Monsoon Tips And Tricks To Roast Wheat Flour

Use Heavy-Bottom Pan

Always ensure to use a heavy-bottom pan. It ensures that the granules do not burn while you leave the ingredients idle for just a few seconds. A heavy pan will also ensure an even distribution of heat across the surface and help to roast the atta to perfection.

Continue Stirring

If you have witnessed seasons of MasterChef India and pioneers sharing the recipe of kadha prasad or atta ladoo, they always suggested continuously stirring the wheat flour. Not only will it help you avoid burning the atta but also ensure that it is evenly roasted.

Cook In Small Batches

Since you need to stir continuously, it is suggested to roast atta in small batches. While it might seem easy, the process of stirring can be painful, especially for your arms. A small batch also facilitates better control over the ingredients and makes it easy for you to roast the atta evenly.

Observe Colour

Always keep an eye on the wheat flour while roasting it. The two signs of an evenly batch of roasted atta are its colour and aroma. The nutty aroma will signal that the flour has been roasted and even a light brown hue will seal the deal. If you cook it beyond that, you might end up burning it.

Subject To Moderate Heat

Since you are roasting atta in a heavy bottom, keep the flame to a medium-high. If you keep the flame low, the flour will take time to roast. However, if the flame is high, it increases the risk of burning. High heat will also lead to uneven distribution of heat which will hamper the texture of the final product.

Roast In Ghee

In most Indian households, you will witness people roasting atta by adding ghee. It makes the process easy and makes the mixture nutritious. Moreover, ghee or oil acts as a binding agent. Especially, if you are cooking ladoo. 

Cool It Off

Once the atta has roasted, keep it aside on a plate to cool off. Don’t leave it in the kadhai or else it will continue to cook and some granules might even burn and destroy the aroma and texture of the mixture. If you are not going to use it immediately to make something, store the flour in an airtight container. 

The process is applied when you want to roast gram flour for making halwa or ladoo. Sooji is also roasted to infuse the dish with an irresistible aroma and texture. Roasting flour makes it more digestible and easier to work with.