Protein In Indian Kitchens: Dals and More
Bonny Shah

Bonny Shah
11 June 2020

This article is authored by Bonny Shah. Bonny is a Registered Dietitian and a Certified Diabetes Educator.

Protein is an essential building block of good health. The average adult must consume about 50-60 grams per day to stay fit. As a significant component of every cell in our body, protein is utilized in many ways including building and repairing tissues and making enzymes, hormones and other body chemicals. It is also an important element that ensures healthy bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood.

Common notions state that vegetarians lack a sufficient protein intake in their diet. This belief holds little truth. Aside from the usual animal protein, Indian kitchens are laden with often overlooked plant-based protein sources. We have catalogued a few ordinarily found protein-rich foods in Indian households.


Dal is naturally high in protein and has remained a staple food across the country for decades. It is usually consumed along with rice or rotis and sometimes as a soup, salad, idlis or a fried snack. There a variety of dals available in the market. Tata Sampann offers a range of unpolished dals which are high in protein. What’s more, these dals are put through rigorous quality checks to ensure the nutrients are intact.

Which dal is high in protein?


Eat Breakfast

Moong dal or split green gram has a high protein value. It provides 22.5 grams per 100 grams followed by Masoor dal or split red lentil that gives 24.3 grams per 100 grams. Green moong is a prime ingredient in many sweet and savoury dishes. It is extremely versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes including salads, soups and curries. Moong dal is also rich in fiber, minerals and vitamins. Including this dal can help you avoid problems like high cholesterol, and it will also provide strength. It is nice to treat yourself to delicious green gram payasam without feeling completely guilty about indulging in a sweet craving.


Besan or gram flour is another protein-rich ingredient. Tata Sampann Besan provides 18.7 grams of protein per 100 grams and can be used to cook up many delicious dishes. A favourite festive dish is the celebrated besan ladoo that leaves everyone asking for more. Globally, besan is growing in popularity as increasing number of people are looking for gluten-free alternatives. Along with being a good source of protein, besan contains several minerals including iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and manganese.

The besan chilla is a great option to try if you’re looking to add more plant-based protein to your regular diet. These savoury pancakes can be prepared in a number of ways. The basic ingredients are 1 cup besan with about ⅔ cup of water along with other veggies and spices according to your preference.



Dairy foods such as cheese, yoghurt, paneer and milk are excellent sources of protein and different fats. It is also a good source of many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, calcium, riboflavin and phosphorus. An ever-enjoyable preparation with immense healing potential is haldi doodh or turmeric milk which is made by boiling milk with half a teaspoon of turmeric in it. It usually helps to combat colds or congestion.

Additionally, another diary product which is a good source of protein is dahi. It is a nutrient-dense food which has calcium, magnesium, vitamin B-12, conjugated linoleic acid and other key fatty acids as well. As dahi contains beneficial bacterial cultures, it can be a potential source of probiotics.

When you choose your protein sources, pick up unpolished dals, pulses and beans to get the most amount of nutrition. Choose from Tata Sampann’s range, be assured of hygienic and nutrition-rich ingredients. Whether you’re a non-vegetarian, vegetarian or vegan, ensure you’re meeting your daily protein requirements to stay healthy!


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