Rice flour is quite an essential in a typical Konkani household. This statement may hold true for many other coastal areas as well. Rice as a food grain has a great prominence in South Asian Cuisine, in countries like China, Thailand, Burma and India.
Rice flour is made by fine milling of rice grain. While many people now prefer store-bought rice flour, the process of making this flour is absolutely hassle-free and can be easily done at home. I like to make this flour at home as it gives me an absolute surety about the quality of rice used in the flour.
While we have been traditionally consuming rice and its flour for ages now, a whole new crop of people has now begun to consume this flour for its obvious health benefits. Being a gluten free product has helped rice flour gain a whole new set of followers especially those who cannot consume wheat and its derivatives due to their sensitivity to gluten. Celiac disease is a serious hereditary disorder in which person develops a hyper sensitivity to consumption of gluten. It’s an immune reaction to eating gluten-a protein that is found in grains like Wheat, barley and rye. Eating gluten triggers an immune reaction in small intestine which can over time damage vili- a small finger like projection. This damage can have an impact on body which leads to nutrient not getting absorbed in body properly.
While Celiac disease was found many centuries ago but with new advancements in field of medicine and new discoveries, more and more people are now becoming aware to gluten and its impact. This has led to emergence of other flours like rice flour which is gluten free and can be consumed safely by people suffering from Celiac disorder. Rice flour is used in several products breads, noodles and making sweets. It is also used as a thickening agent in soups, sauces and gravies. I remember quite vividly how we would use rice flour as a thickening agent in soups for guests while I was working in kitchen of Marriot, Pune- guests, who would demand their soups to be gluten free.
While I am a huge proponent of rice flour, I would like to clear some myths that have gained ground off late projecting gluten as some sort of poison. A casual skimming through the internet can take you through the articles that speak of how gluten must be completely avoided to lead a healthy life. It is this kind of arguments that we must avoid falling prey to. While I totally agree, gluten is a complete no-no to folks suffering from Celiac disorder, there is no logical explanation for everyone out there to start giving wheat a complete miss. So I would urge you dear readers to not fall prey to these marketing gimmicks and rather believe in age-old mantra for healthy life- consume in moderation, drink plenty of water and exercise.
Let’s hop back to rice flour and see how it is made at home. I have made this flour many times at home with different variety or rice- Basmati rice, Ambe Mohar rice, Indrayani rice etc. Flour can also be made with small grain rice. Rice grain must be washed thoroughly and then soaked in water for 6-8 hours. Then strain this soaked rice in a colander to get rid of moisture content. Spread this strained rice on a cloth and let the rice dry completely overnight or 8-10 hours. Do not put the rice to dry under the sunlight but rather keep it under fan for it to dry. The rice must get completely dry for any further processing. Ensure there is no slightest of moisture content before you grind this dry rice into fine powder. When it is completely dry, you can grind it into a fine powder.
With the Ganeshotsav around the corner, rice flour gains quite a prominence as many wonderful desserts are made during this Ganesh festival with rice flour. Make delicious Ukadiche Modak (steamed rice flour Modak) with homemade rice flour and celebrate Ganesh festival with fun, frolic and excitement. Share your feedback with us in comments section below
Also make Rice flour Bhakri
Serves: 470 gms
- 500 gms Basmati Rice (For Modak use Basmati or Ambe Mohar types fragrant variety. For Daily purpose use any small grain variety)
- Water as required
- Wash and Clean the rice to get rid of excess starch. Soak rice in water (above the level of rice) for 6-8 hours.
- After 8 hours, let's check rice. Rice grains have soaked well. Take a large bowl and a strainer. Let's now drain the water. Leave the rice in the strainer for 30 mins
- Keep the strainer aside and take a clean cotton cloth. Spread soaked rice on this cloth. Let the rice dry completely for 10-12 hours. Do not dry it under the Sun, but prefer doing it under shade. You can dry it under fan.
- We have soaked rice for almost 10 hours. It's completely dry now. You should not find trace of any water in rice.
- Transfer some rice in a grinder jar and grind into fine powder. Grind
- in batches. We have ground rice into fine flour. Pass rice through a sieve. Take a large plate and a fine mesh to remove all the grains from rice
- Pass rice through the sieve. Ensure there are no grains or particles in the rice flour. Its texture must be fine and smooth. The grains or particles left on the net must be grinded again. Repeat this cycle until all the rice is made into fine flour
- In this measurements, we have made 470 gms of Rice flour. You can store it in an air tight container for 2-3 months.
Click to watch recipe video