Gluten Free Indian Pau /Dinner rolls

Pav or Pau or Pao is the Portuguese word for bread (small rolls). It was introduced by them in Maharashtra, India during their brief presence there. Maharashtra was later gifted to the English as part of the dowry for Catherine of Braganza's marriage to Charles II.(WIKI).

Pau is very popular in Goa too where the Portuguese ruled for about 450 years. Every morning the Poder/baker would himself deliver the freshly baked rolls to his customers. Its enjoyed every morning with butter or any left over spicy curry made the previous day. Their size varies from small dinner rolls to huge hard crust bread which are super soft on the inside.

Pav in Maharashtra are the small dinner rolls and eaten more as a mid day/evening  snack. It is usually paired with a medley of mashed vegetables slathered with butter (pav bhaji), or as a burger with a potato patty sandwiched in between (pav wada), or with spiced minced meat (kheema pav) or with spicy lentil gravy (misal pav).

These dishes are doled out by street vendors as a quick snack or small meal. I served it at home as a healthier version of pav bhaji (mashed vegetables)

This gluten free version is inspired from

Makes: 12- 15 rolls


  • 2 tbsp. active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • egg replacer equivalent to one egg
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. xanthan gum
  • 1 1/4 cups white rice flour
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 3/4 cup potato starch
  • 1/3 cup  tapioca starch

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar and let sit for about 5 minutes. Check to see if the yeast is reacting well.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, adding the xanthan gum last. Mix well with a spatula and later by hand.The dough is a wet dough.
  3. You do not knead this like a regular bread dough, but it does need to be mixed well and I have found about 5 minutes is a good time.
  4. Scoop and roll into small balls and place on a greased cookie sheet.This makes 12-15 rolls.
  5. Cover rolls loosely with a kitchen towel and let rise for about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.
  6. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes or until done.

I served these gluten free homemade pavs with a healthier version of pav bhaji (mashed vegetables).


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