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Dals are and always have been for a long time consumed as a staple food all across the Indian subcontinent. If it’s not been used in gravy or curry, it’s been utilized as a key ingredient in desserts or evening snacks. It’s sort of like an unsaid rule – Indians simply cannot do without dals.
But why are these lentils so cherished and admired? Because starting from childhood through adulthood, Indians have been drummed into understanding and learning all the goodness that comes from eating dals. Not to mention the essential nutrients, rich antioxidants, and organic purity that accompanies the lentils.
The goal of this article is to list out dals that are sources of high protein and zero in on the dal with the highest protein.
Legumes are the plants derived from the Fabaceae family. Legumes could refer to the leaves, stems, and pods of the legume plant. Some examples of legumes are green beans, peas, soybeans, and peanuts.
Whereas, pulses are the edible dry seed derived from the legume plant. Some popular pulses are lentils, beans, chickpeas, and split peas. Dals, therefore are all classified as lentils.
Lentils are by far one of the most economical, sustainable, and adaptable pulses that comes with a host of health benefits. Packed with fibre content, lentils are ideal for easy digestion as well as maintaining cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
According to Medical News Today, consuming lentils is linked with a lowered risk of various health conditions.
As per a study conducted by the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers concluded that those who were in the habit of consuming more plant-based foods such as pulses and lentils had a reduced risk of succumbing to cardiovascular diseases.
Now let’s look at all the dals with high protein content.
Urad dal, also referred to as black gram is a crumbly and chewy lentil that is a powerful source of folate and zinc. More importantly, urad dal provides 12 grams of protein for every half cup.
Because they don’t become pulpy and mushy when cooked, people prefer to eat them with exotic spices or in a soup. You can even have it in your Falafel and it tastes heavenly.
Green lentils, also known as split green gram, are basically moong dal with a green layer of skin covering it. The split and skinned green gram (moong dal) have a mustardy colour to it. These lentils provide 9 grams of protein with each half cup.
Green lentils are also a powerful source of iron, something that women, in general, require to make up for all the iron that is lost during their menstruation cycles. Moreover, the potassium content in moong dal is high (even more than what is found in bananas).
If you’re trying to stave off eating meat, green lentils are a good substitute. Meat aficionados swear by it as its texture is far better when compared to beans. For a snack, you could try making lentil patties, use it with your salad or make lentil walnut tacos as well.
Also referred to as whole masoor dal in the Indian subcontinent, half a cup of brown lentils provide 9 grams of protein. These lentils have a balmy, earthy aroma to it. It tends to get soft and mushy when cooked and is great for curries, stews, and dry gravies.
Brown lentils are also a great source of carbohydrates, fibre, iron, and folate.
Red lentils are known as masoor dal (they are the split version of brown lentils) and features in middle eastern as well as Indian cuisines quite often. Since they turn soft when cooked, masoor dal is great for making curries and purees. Half a cup of red lentils contains 9 grams of protein.
Masoor dal is also a rich source of sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and vitamin C.This dal is perfect for people who are looking to lose weight and are of a mind to consume food that is low in fat.
Referring to the initial question which is the crux of this article, “which dal is high in protein?”, going by the nutritional information mentioned above, it is safe to say that urad dal ranks the highest.
As discussed earlier, dals contain high levels of fibre, vitamins, minerals, and protein. Lentils also contain antioxidant properties that allow it to fight against free radicals that are responsible for inflammation and cancer risks.
Generally speaking, lentils as a whole are rich in manganese, phosphorus, thiamin, potassium, vitamin B-6, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, magnesium, copper, and selenium. 100 grams or half a cup of cooked lentils provide the following nutritional content.
Dals are organic food that provides better nutrition, contain antioxidant properties, and pose reduced health risks to all who consume it regularly. Lentils provide many variations in your diet and you could have it at any time of the day in whatever form that suits your taste.
It is delicious, it is healthy and not to mention a powerful source of protein and fibre.
Try 24 Mantra Organic’s Dal range and Savour the taste of organic goodness.
Four Guiding Principles of Organic Farming