Last Updated : Sep 24,2018
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Also known as
Cornstarch, Maize starch
What is Cornflour?
Cornstarch, or corn flour, is the starch of the corn (maize) grain. It is different from maize flour or makkai ka atta. Maize flour is milled from the whole kernel, while cornstarch is obtained from the endosperm portion of the kernel.
Cornstarch is commonly used as a thickening agent in soups and liquids. As the starch is heated by the liquid, the molecule chains unravel, allowing them to collide with other starch chains to form a mesh - thus slowing the movement of water molecules. This results in thickening of the liquid, be it soup, stock or other culinary liquids. White corn flour is used as a filler, binder and thickener in cookie, pastry and meat industries.
How to select
• Select corn flour, which is white and powdery, without any lumps or discoloration.
• While buying corn flour, also watch out for the expiry date.
12 Ways to use Cornflour
1. In the kitchen, cornstarch can be used as a binder for cutlets, koftas or similar foods, or as a thickener for sauces, stews and soups.
2. An addition of cornflour slurry to milk helps in reducing and thickening it. Make delicious ice-creams like Tender Coconut, Lychee Ice Cream, Orange Ice Cream at home.
3. Always make a paste of cornstarch and cold water before adding to heated foods to prevent lumping. When cornstarch paste is added, cook over medium heat and bring to a boil for about one minute. Remove and serve. Do not overcook as it will begin to break down and thin out. Stir continuously but gently. Vigorous whisking will also cause loss of texture.
4. Cornstarch is a bland, gluten-free alternative to flour for frying, baking and for sauces and gravies. Rice Flour Bread and Buckwheat and Quinoa Bread are some gluten-free bread variants which you can bake at home using just a handful of ingredients.
5. It is widely used in Indo-Chinese cuisine to make various gravies, appetizers and soups like Paneer in Manchurian Sauce, Veg Crispy, Sweet Corn and Vegetable Soup, Kapi Cho Paneer.
6. Use it in cakes, cookies, pies, and a host of other sweet goods as well. You can make pancakes by mixing plain flour and cornflour. Enhance them by stuffing with a mixture to make Pancakes Stuffed with Baked Beans and Vegetables or French Style Baked Pancakes in Spinach and Tomato Sauce
7. Many cooks prefer using cornstarch as it imparts no additional flavour to foods.
8. A simple pudding can be made with bread, milk, cornstarch, and sugar. Bread and butter pudding is a popular British dessert that also happens to be a hot favourite at Mumbai’s Irani restaurants.
9. Do not freeze any cooked recipe that contains cornstarch.
10. Corn flour may be used as a substitute for arrowroot powder in specific recipes.
11. It may be used in preparation such as custard, cakes, coating cutlets before frying. Try your hands on these sinful desserts Caramel Custard, Semolina and Coconut Cake.
12. An addition of cornflour to batter provides a crunchy texture to deep-fried snacks like Capsicum Rings, Crispy Fried Corn. They also help in binding ingredients while making Herbed Maggi Fritters, Potato Nuggets, Paneer Cheese Balls.
How to store
• If stored in an airtight, dry container in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, cornstarch will last for long.
• You may also put it in a plastic bag and refrigerate to improve the shelf life.
• Cornmeal or maize flour versus corn starch is comparable to whole wheat flour versus white flour. Cornmeal includes the whole corn grain (bran, germ, and endosperm) while cornstarch or corn flour is refined (bran and germ removed). Whole grain equals a good source of dietary fibre.
• For heart health (and health overall) it is best to limit refined grains and increase whole grains.
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