Monday, 25 October 2010

Urid / urad lentil flour

I realise many of you will be put off these recipes because you don't know what urid lentil flour is or how to get hold of it.

In the UK you can get it from Spices of India, who do very fast mail order

In the USA you can get it from I have never ordered from them so cannot report on their service, but it looks pretty straightforward to order from them,

Urid (or urad) lentil flour is made from a small pale cream coloured lentil ( it has a dark skin which is taken off first). It is used to make pappadums, idli, dhosa and other southern Indian pancakes and buns. It holds baked goods together much better than soya flour or chick pea flour, and doesn't leave any noticeable flavour or extra colour in the finished goods I make plain shortbread biscuits/cookies and vanilla cakes using it and people don't realise they are made without wheat.

I grind my own from the whole lentil because it amuses me and I have a beautiful Swiss stone-grinder flour mill. These packs of flour will make it easy to have good gluten free food that is suitable for anyone unless they have specific problems with intolerance to this lentil.

If you have any questions I am happy to try to help.


  1. Can you explain how to make lentil flour? Do you need to cook it first, or do you just clean it and grind it?


  2. I ordered some lentil flour from Spices of India online, as you suggested. It took a full 5 days to arrive, so not particularly quick, when it finally did get here, the back of the packet stated that it was made in a mill handling wheat & gluten. As such, it is not suitable for my coeliac daughter to eat. Appreciate that this might be a new development since you wrote the above back in 2010 - but thought it worth flagging up in the hope that other coeliacs might not waste their money.....
    I don't want to buy my own mill at this stage - as it sounds like an expensive item, and I have no idea if my daughter would tolerate the flour in any case (on top of being coeliac, she is also intolerant to dairy, rice, potato, buckwheat, millet, amaranth) - but she CAN eat tapioca & cornmeal, so your recipe would be absolutely ideal if I could get an uncontaminated bag of lentil flour.....

  3. Hi Becky, you are right this is new labelling since I bought flour - moving house chaos and so no baking for ages. Shipton Mill will be bringing out my flour mix shortly - they have built a new gluten-free facility in order to do a range of gf flours. I am not sure when it will be available - it would be worth emailing them to ask.

    If you have a wettiish recipe you can grind the lentils in a blender. I did a load of tests on how easy it was to grind them in normal equipment a few months ago but then failed to write them up. If you try to grind them dry they can burn out your motor. The traditional way to make dhosa is to soak the lentils and the rice (separately) and then blitz to a smooth paste. So,for example, you could make the lazy bread or pancakes by soaking and grinding the urid and then just add the dry flours to get the right consistency. You could store the ground urid paste in the freezer in tubs to use as needed if it was easier to do this as a bulk activity.

    Hope this helps.

    Thanks for letting me know about the labels - I had intended to buy pre-ground flour for some baking courses I am running next month so it is useful to know ahead of time that I need to grind my own.


  4. MusicFoodLife - just grind it dry or soak and grind if you don't have such a powerful machine.


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