What Is Maida Flour? (What Is It Made Of, What’s It For, Substitutes + More) 

Flour is used to make various recipes, but not all flour is made the same. There are many variations of flour that have different uses, and one popular variety of flour is maida flour.

If you have never heard of maida flour before, you may be wondering what maida flour is. I looked it up, and here is what I found!

What Is Maida Flour?

Maida flour is finely milled and refined wheat flour, and maida flour is popularly used in India to make a variety of recipes like naan, fermented batter, pizza crust, and more. Despite being called all-purpose flour in India, maida flour is not true all-purpose flour. Maida flour’s appearance and uses are somewhat similar to cake flour.

Do you want to learn more about what maida flour is called in English, if maida flour is the same as self-rising flour, and what you can use instead of maida flour? Keep reading!

What Type Of Flour Is Maida Flour?

Maida flour is a type of wheat flour and maida flour is considered a type of white flour since it is free of bran while also being refined and bleached.

What Is Maida Flour Called In English?

Maida flour may be called finely milled flour or finely refined wheat flour since it will mostly depend on what country you are in.

For example, maida flour is often called all-purpose flour in India, but maida flour is not considered plain flour, which is all-purpose flour in the United Kingdom.

Is Maida Flour The Same As Plain Flour?

Technically, maida flour is not considered plain flour because maida flour is finely milled flour without bran.

Most British terms acknowledge that plain flour is the same as all-purpose flour, and all-purpose flour is often used for a variety of recipes, hence the name “all-purpose” flour.

Some people compare maida flour to cake flour, which is flour that produces softer recipes like cakes.

On the other hand, plain flour creates a coarser texture, which is why some people refer to plain flour as hard flour.

Since maida flour is popular in India and used in a wide range of recipes, people in India often call maida flour all-purpose flour even if maida flour is not all-purpose flour.

How Do You Use Maida Flour?

Since maida flour creates softer textures, maida flour is commonly used in recipes like tandoori roti, naan, noodles, pizza crust, and more.

Moreover, maida flour is often compared to cake flour, which is why maida flour is a good ingredient to use for cakes, biscuits, and other pastries if you do not have cake flour.

Other than bakery products, maida flour can be used to coat foods before frying, as a thickener for sauces, and as a fermented batter.

Is Self Rising Flour Called Maida Flour?

Is Self Rising Flour Called Maida Flour?

Maida flour is not called self-rising flour because maida flour does not possess the same rising capabilities that self-rising flour has.

For instance, self-rising flour contains plain flour, salt, and baking powder whereas maida flour is merely finely milled flour.

Both self-rising flour and maida flour can be used for pastry-like dishes but maida flour will not make the pastries rise the same way self-rising flour can.

However, self-rising flour and maida flour can make the pastry dishes soft, which is why they are preferred over all-purpose flour.

Despite both making soft pastries, self-rising flour cannot be called maida flour since they have different uses in baking.

Is Maida Flour And Wheat Flour The Same?

Technically, maida flour is a type of wheat flour because maida flour is made from wheat, but if you purchase wheat flour from the store the wheat flour will not be the same as maida flour.

Maida flour is typically made from wheat grain’s endosperm whereas wheat flour is made from the wheat grain’s endosperm, bran, and germ.

Since wheat flour contains more parts of the wheat grain, wheat flour produces very heavy baked goods while maida flour creates lighter bakery products.

Moreover, maida flour is refined flour, hence why maida flour is white, whereas whole wheat flour is not refined.

How Can I Identify Maida Flour At Home?

When it comes to appearances, maida flour will look like white cake flour with very fine granules.

If you want to find out if you have pure maida flour, you can put several drops of hydrochloric acid into a bit of water and maida flour.

Next, dip a strip of turmeric paper into the maida flour mixture, and if the paper becomes red your maida flour contains boric powder or chalk.

If you wish to learn the difference between corn flour and maida flour, you can eat dry maida.

Dry maida should stick to your tongue and be nearly impossible to swallow whereas corn flour will not stick to the tongue and is easy to swallow.

What Can I Substitute For Maida Flour?

One of the best substitutes for maida flour is cake flour because cake flour is very similar in appearance to maida flour.

Moreover, cake flour is often used to create a lighter texture in recipes like biscuits, which is the same as maida flour.

You may use all-purpose flour instead of maida flour since the taste will nearly be the same, but whatever recipe you make will have a much “heavier” texture than you would expect.

If you are in a pinch, you may opt to use whole wheat flour over maida flour, but your recipe may come out darker and heavier.

Have a look at our related articles if you want to learn what mesquite flour is, what millet flour is, and what maize flour is.


Maida flour is a popular variety of flour used in India, and maida flour creates lighter texture pastries such as naan and pizza crust, but maida flour can be used as a sauce thickener, fermented batter, and more.

While maida flour is often referred to as all-purpose flour in India and used for pastries like cake flour, maida flour is not considered all-purpose four or cake flour.

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