Pulses are the most convenient and affordable source of protein. With pulses, you don’t need much prep time to whip up a healthy and wholesome meal. The Dietary Guidelines for Indians have identified protein-energy malnutrition as a common nutrition-related problem in India and many other developing countries. These guidelines have also identified pulses among the most recommended food types that should be consumed on a daily basis. Pulses are easy to store and can be used over a period of time. As they are rich in complex carbohydrates, micronutrients, proteins and vitamins, they also form an important part of the vegetarian or vegan diet.
Here is a list of 5 must-have pulses to stock your pantry with:
Urad Dal - One of the most popularly produced pulses in India, urad dal or split black gram is a common ingredient in every South Indian kitchen. Besides being used to craft delicious dals, it is also used to make idlis, dosas and vadas. It is also a rich source of protein, calcium, iron, fibre and vitamin A which helps maintain digestion and overall bowel health. It is very good for people with diabetes as it regulates the glucose levels in the blood.
Green Moong - Green moong beans or green gram is probably one of the healthiest and most versatile ingredients you’ll find in any Indian kitchen. They contain antioxidants that may protect against free radical damage that occurs during heat stroke. It makes for an excellent source of protein and fibre. It also promotes weight loss as it reduces hunger and leaves you feeling full. The protein in this pulse is approximately 24.71 grams per 100 grams and it can be used to cook up a delicious dal, a light, refreshing salad or even a tasty burger.
Kabuli Chana - A variety of dishes can be made with kabuli chana or chickpeas. From stir-frys, dips and salads to sabzis and dals these beans can be used in almost any dish. It has a high fibre content and helps protect the inner lining of the intestine. Other health advantages of chickpeas include regulating blood glucose levels, maintaining proper body weight and enhancement of digestion. Being an excellent source of protein, kabuli chana is a great choice for individuals who avoid animal products.
Yellow Moong Dal - Another good source of proteins and dietary fibre, yellow moong dal is the most commonly used ingredient in the famous ‘khichdi’. It is easy to digest compared to other dals so can be easily incorporated for all age groups. You can also make delicious soups and halwas with this lentil.
Kidney Beans - Popularized by the quintessential dish - rajma chaawal, kidney beans are better known as rajma in India. They are an excellent source of plant-based protein and are ideal for vegetarian and vegan diets. You could make salads, rajma tacos, and creamy curries with this all-purpose pulse. Kidney beans are also rich in healthy fibres, which moderate blood sugar levels and promote colon health.
Protein in Pulses - Proteins are essential for the proper growth and maintenance of cells. They contain essential amino acids some of which are not naturally produced by our body. These amino acids are obtained from plant-based sources. The average protein content of pulses lies between 20 to 25 percent by weight. This is approximately twice the amount that wheat has and three times the amount that rice has.
Affordable and yet chock-full of nutrients, pulses are often called the poor man's protein. They are however, much more than that, and should be utilized as part of every healthy diet. It is important to pick pure and unpolished products that are free from contaminants and adulterants. Try Tata Sampann’s range of organic dals. Certified as per Indian and US Organic Standards, these products are completely free from pesticides and chemical fertilizers so you get all the natural goodness and nothing else. Stock smart, stay healthy!
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