Indian Flour Names

A flour, which is generally termed as ‘atta’ in Hindi language, is an important part of Indian cuisine. Though, when we say atta, it also usually means whole wheat flour or gehun ka atta, this post majorly focuses on the different flours that are commonly used in Indian cooking. This list focuses on the some of the most popular and some uncommon Indian Flour Names in English, Hindi and other regional languages like Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Gujarati and Marathi.

white bowls filled with various flours on wooden table.

The below list contains both the names of flours made from cereals (grains) and seeds (pseudo grains like amaranth, buckwheat, millets etc). Also are listed flours from beans and lentils. I have also mentioned if these flours are gluten free or not. 

While I have done the English, Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati translations on my own, for the other languages, the reference is taken from the book, Modern Cookery by Thangam Philip.

List of Indian Flours

FlourEnglishHindiMarathiTamilTeluguKannadaMalayalamGujaratiGluten-free
whole wheat flour - attaWhole wheat flourAttaKaneekGodumai
Maavu
Godhuma
Pindi
Godi hittuGothambu
Mavu
AtoX
maida or all purpose flourAll purpose flour, Refined flourMaidaMaidaMaida maavuMaida pindiMaida hittuMaida mavuMaidaX
sooji, ravaCream of wheat,
Semolina
Sooji, sujiRavaRavaiRavaRavaRavaRavaX
rice flourRice flourChawal
Ka atta
Tandlache
Peeth 
Arisi maavuBiyyappu
Pindi
Akki hittuAripodiChokha
No lot 
X
maize flourMaize flourMakai ka attaMakyache
Peeth
Makka cholam maavuMokkajonna
Pindi
Mekke jola hittuCholam mavuMakai no lotX
corn starchCorn starchCorn flourX
soy bean flour, soya flourSoybean flour,
Soya flour
Bhatma ka atta
sattu ka attaRoasted bengal gram flourSattu ka attaPottukadalai maavu
 Gram flour, chickpea
Flour
BesanDaliche peethKadalamaavuSenaga pinduKadale hittuKadala mavuChana no lot
 Finger millet flourMandua
Ka atta 
Nachni che peethKizhvaragu maavRagulu pindiRagi hittuMoothari mavu, panjapullu
Mavu
Ragi no lot
 Sorghum
Flour
Jowar ka attaJwari che peethCholam maavuJonnalu pindiJolada hittuCholam mavu Juwar no lot
 Pearl millet flourBajra ka
Atta
Bajri che peethKambu maavuSajjalu pindi

Sajje hittuKamboo mavuBajri no lot 

Recipes made with these Flours

While the usual use of flours in India is majorly in making our everyday flatbreads like roti, phulka, poori and parathas at home, there are many other dishes where these flours are used.

Here, I have compiled some of the personal favorite and popular choices at my home as well as some that are unique, yet form a significant part of Indian cuisine.

  1. Atta or whole wheat flour used for making roti, chapati, paratha, poori and phulka.
  2. Maida all purpose flour or plain flour used for making naan, bhatura, luchi, kulcha, muffins, cakes. Atta is more healthier than maida.
  3. Besan – gram flour used in making pakoras/fritters, besan ladoos, khandvi, dhokla, methi muthia, missi roti, besan halwa). Gluten free.
  4. Chawal ka atta – rice flour used in making kozhakatai, pooris and rice bhakri/rotis). gluten free.
  5. Makai ka atta (makki ka atta)– maize flour is made from dried corn and is yellow in color and corn flour is made from starch of corn kernels and is white in color. Makki ki roti is very famous in Punjab.
  6. Sooji – cream of wheat (both coarse and fine). Used in making sooji halwa, rava dosa, rava kesari, rava upma.
  7. Ragi or nachni flour – finger millet flour (used in making ragi dosa, roti, upma). gluten free.
  8. Bajra – pearl millet flour (used in making bajra roti or bajra bhakri, thepla). gluten free.
  9. Jowar flour – white millet flour or sorghum flour (used in making bhakris, thepla, thalipeeth). gluten free.
  10. Sattu ka atta – made from a mixture of roasted and grounded pulses and cereals or even just roasted gram powder will do. You can make sattu drink, paratha, laddu, chilla.
  11. Soya flour – made from whole soybeans which is roasted and then grounded. It is usually mixed with whole wheat flours to make rotis, parathas or pancakes. gluten free.
Indian fasting flours

Fasting flours for vrat ka khana

  • Singhare ka atta (water chestnut flour) – you can make singhare ki poori, paratha, pakoras, halwa. gluten free.
  • Kuttu ka atta (buckwheat flour) – you can make paratha, pakoras, poori, halwa. gluten free.
  • Rajgira ka atta (amaranth flour) and rajgira (amaranth) – you can make pooris, vrat ka halwa, paratha, kadhi and thalipeeth. Roasted rajgira can be had mixed with fruits, porridge and even ladoos. gluten free.
  • Sama ke chawal ka atta (barnyard millet flour) – can be used to make vrat ke uttapam, idli, dosa, pooris. gluten free.
  • Arrowroot flour or paniphal flour – used as a thickener and binding agent. gluten free.
  • Sabudana flour or tapioca flour – flour made from tapioca pearls. Can be used to make sabudana dosa and idli.

Note: to know more about fasting food check this Navratri Vrat Rules post.

Related Culinary Posts:

  1. Fruits Names
  2. Spices Names
  3. Pulses Names
  4. Cereals Names
  5. Vegetable Names

This Indian Flour Name post from the archives first published in January 2015 has been updated and republished on January 2023.

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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12 Comments

  1. I came across this article first time and it gave me so much information. I am allergic to gluten and dairy and just learning my way how can i manage my eating. Thankyou so much for this.

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