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5 realistic ways to get plant based protein in an Indian diet - No soy!

Bored of the lists suggesting brussels sprout, hemp seeds and soy chunks? Same here. Quite frankly, they’re just not for the Indian palette. Thousands of years of complex evolution to make Spirulina shakes for breakfast? If there was a Nala, he would be turning in his grave. Let us also take a minute to consider these are not naturally grown in India and it is always better to eat local (and think global!). Hint: Your grandma wasn’t making rice bhath/ pulao with soya chunks. 

So let’s take a look at Indian Plant Protein Sources:

        1. Urad Dal

Protein per 100 gms - 24 gms


Wait, what? Not kidding at all. You can do a quick fact check here on the website of the US Agricultural Department. There’s also a host of Urad Dal recipes across various states in India. It is used in Idlis to Gojjus in the south. Who isn’t familiar with the mouth-watering Urad Dal cooked in the north? If the preparations need curd or ghee, you can always use Goodmylk Plant based Peanut curd or even plant based butter. 


      2. Groundnuts

Protein per 100 gms - 25 gms

According to USDA, this is the protein count of peanuts. Pretty high, no? We think so too. Apart from being used in Lemon rice and Puliogres in the south, most parts of our country also use it generously to make Chikkis and Laddus. Millennials have also found a great way to get their protein with peanut bananas smoothies in the mornings. Google away 100 different ways to use groundnuts in your diet.

        3. Sesame Seeds

Protein per 100 gms - 18 gms

While being packed with protein, sesame seeds have a host of other nutrients like good fats, fibre and loads of minerals. The “Til Laddu” or “Yellu Bella” eaten during the harvest festival isn’t just a tasty snack. If you’re bored of sesame balls, there’s the Hyderabadi “Til ka Khatta” which can serve as a double portion of protein when eaten with the humble Khichadi.

       4. Chickpeas AKA Channa

Protein per 100 gms - 19 gms

Channa, an old favourite, has to be on the list, of course! Some of us may experience bloating, farting and all other good things when we eat Channa. Wise old people say the right amount of fat + carbs with Channa can give the bloat a good beating. Sound like we’re suggesting Channa with the fat and carbs of the Bhatura? Maybe we are, just use a plant-based butter. Alternatively, the Karnataka-Andhra style Usli with loads of fresh grated coconut can be your go-to snack. Also, sprouting chickpeas will make their nutrients more available and make them easier on your tummy.

   5.Plant based Paneer 

Protein per 100 gms - 10 gms

We’re definitely NOT talking about Tofu posing as Paneer, we’re talking about various plant based Paneers available out there. The level of protein may differ from one brand to another but here’s our recommendation. It’s a good idea to check out the ingredients of all products before you buy anything just based on the protein content. 

This is just a list of our favourite plant based protein sources, there’s loads of other options like Rajma, beans, pumpkin seeds, chana dal, toor dal, moong dal etc.