More and more people in India are starting to care about their health. Going to gyms and drinking protein shakes is almost the norm now. But in 2017, a report by the Indian Market Research Bureau showed that protein deficiency in India is at about 80%. Most Indian don’t get even close to the recommended 60-80 gms of recommended protein intake.
A reason is an increase in processed food consumption in both urban and semi-urban India. Which in turn is leading to an increase in obesity in India. You, as a consumer, need to take the matter into your hands and start taking care of your health.
So if you have a goal of increasing your protein consumption and don’t want to rely on protein shakes, then look no further. Here are some Indian dishes you can incorporate into your diet to bump up the protein intake:
Moong Dal Dosa (Pesarattu)
Eating dal every day can become boring so using dal to make dosa for lunch or dinner is a great way to break the monotony.
Pesarattu originating from Andhra Pradesh is a dosa made from green moong dal. You can pair it with coconut chutney or even better would be sambar, since it is also made from Toor dal.
100 gm of moong dal has about 24 gms of protein. Pesarattu with sambar is a perfect protein-packed meal with no compromise on taste. It makes for a healthy breakfast or lunch dish.
Matar Paneer (Peas and Cottage Cheese)
A beloved dish of many Indians. Not only is it extremely tasty, but it is also packed with protein. Cottage cheese is the preferred source of protein for many vegetarians. But what most people are still sleeping on is the protein in peas. The best thing about peas is that since they are tiny, you can include them easily in many dishes and consume a lot of them.
So cottage cheese and peas together are a combo made in protein lover’s heaven. You can eat it with rice or chapati. Make it dry or with gravy; follow whatever rules you like.
Kala Chana Cury
Kala Chana doesn’t get as much love as Chole does (except on Navratri), but it deserves all the attention and love you can give it. Just 100 gms of Kala chana has about 20gm protein. It is also high in iron, so if you are suffering from anaemia, hair fall or are mensurating women, it is good to add this to your diet.
It is an excellent dish for your next lunch or dinner. You can add coconut to the curry and convert the basic curry into Kerala-style Kadala Curry. But, if you are not in the mood for making a curry, you can make a boiled Kala chana salad or dry roast it.
Here is another high-protein salad option for you.
If you don’t know, sprouts are germinated seeds that become plants. You can use the seed of any vegetable, grain or beans like moong, kidney beans, buckwheat, fenugreek seeds, radish and brown rice.
However, if you are looking for protein-rich sprouts, go for:
- Lentils (Green Moong, Masoor)
- Beans (Kidney, Chickpea, Azuki, Soybeans)
- Grains (Quinoa, Wheat, Amaranth)
Ideally, you should eat them raw, but if you don’t like the taste or can’t eat them for some other reason, you can steam/ boil them slightly. Sprouts are low in calories but still are a powerhouse of nutrients like manganese, phosphorous, magnesium and folate. It is because the process of sprouting increases the nutrients level, including protein, and decreases the antinutrients which hinder the absorption of nutrients.
Paneer Bhurji is a staple in a lot of Indian houses. If you want to change things up a bit, try out soya bhurji. It is easy to make, and you can follow the same recipe as for paneer bhurji and just replace the paneer with soya keema.
Soya keema is easily available in the market, so accessibility is also not a worry. 100 gms of soya keema has 16 gms of protein, and you can even bump up the protein by adding some peas to the recipe.
“Increase your protein intake” is the first thing you hear when you start your fitness journey.
Proteins are called the building blocks of the body, and rightly so because they help repair and restore muscles. They also:
- Keep you full for longer
- Strengthens hair, nails and skin
- Help in burning fat
- Increases your energy levels
- Maintain and preserve bone health
- Boost the immune system
Don’t be scared if all you see around is gym fanatics eating 10 boiled eggs in one go. That is not the only way to include protein in your diet. Our humble homecooked Indian dishes are rich in protein but don’t get enough love from the fitness community.
Being healthy should not be at the cost of taste. The best thing about these dishes is that you can always customise the way you make them and the species you use. And you might already be eating most of the dishes mentioned in this article, but now you know how healthy they are, you can incorporate them more regularly.