Gluten-free baking ingredient tip!!!

Recently, in a trip to my local Asian food market, I picked up a bag of Jawar Flour (Laxmi brand).  I had no idea what it was, but I did know that an assortment of bean flours are used in Indian cooking.  And, it was only $1.99 for a 2 lb bag, so it was worth an experiment.  The ingredients say “jawar beans.”

Yesterday, I decided to Google jawar flour to see what it was, and how I could use it.  Well, much to my amazement, I found many sources that proclaim that jawar flour is sorghum flour!!!  Now, sorghum is a grain, not a “bean,” so there’s still a little skepticism in me, but maybe it’s just a translation issue. 

I also found that it is more commonly spelled “jowar.”  I also found it as “juvar.” 

 sorghum flour = jowar flour = jowari flour = juwar flour = cholam flour  Notes:    This is widely used in India and Africa, especially by poor farmers who can’t afford wheat flour.  It’s somewhat bland but very nutritious and gluten-free.  You can sometimes find it in health foods stores, but you can get it for less in an Indian market.

from The Cook’s Thesaurus page of Non-Wheat Flours

This really makes me happy, because I use a lot of sorghum flour, Bob’s Red Mill brand, at $3.45 a pop for a 24 oz bag.  Buying it at the Asian market is going to save me 50%!!  Woo-hoo!

I tried making some flatbread with it last night (mixed with white rice flour and masa), and while it was tasty, it wasn’t very “bready” and didn’t hold together very well.  I still need to experiment with that.  In the meantime, I found a very simple, well-written, nicely illustrated “recipe” for making flatbread from just the sorghum/jowar flour and water.  I’m going to try it.  Here’s another recipe that sounds really good, though I had to chuckle at anything deep fried that’s called “very healthy.”

I seem to have a hard time finding it online for purchase… but it could be, again, a translation issue.  I found it here for $2.99 for 2 lbs.  You might be better off hitting the Indian aisle of your local Asian grocery, if you are in a big enough city to have one.     


About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on December 28, 2007, in Celiac Disease, Cooking/Baking/Food/Recipes, GF Recipes, GFCF Recipes, Gluten-Free and Food Allergy Resources, Shopping. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Hi! I’ve enjoyed reading your blog. We’re gfcf and avoid peanuts and tree nuts as well. I just wanted to suggest caution in choosing juwar flour. Although not the same brand as yours, the brand that my local Asian grocery sells is processed on shared equipment (peanuts, wheat). I’ve had really good luck with sorghum flour at Be well! BTW, LOVE the lemon bars!

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