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Dal Diaries: Guide to the Dal with the Highest Protein Content

Dal Diaries: Guide to the Dal with the Highest Protein Content

Picture this, a plateful of steaming rice or chapatis, along with a heaping bowl of your favourite dal. Dal is a quintessential Indian food staple and the primary source of protein for a large part of the Indian population, So the question arises: "Which dal has the highest protein?" 

In Indian cuisine, dal isn't just a side dish – it's an integral part of our culture, our plates, and our pursuit of a healthier, protein-rich lifestyle. Let's explore which dal gives us the most protein power. 

1. Urad Dal

Urad Dal

Urad dal, also known as black gram or black lentil, is a fantastic protein source that often takes a front-row seat in Indian kitchens. Packed with goodness, urad dal brings not only a rich, nutty flavour to your dishes but also a substantial amount of protein. This little legume is a great friend for those looking to add more protein to their diet, especially for our vegetarian and vegan friends.

In addition to protein, urad dal is a good source of essential nutrients like iron, magnesium, potassium, and fibre. It's like a tiny nutritional powerhouse! Including urad dal in your meals can help in muscle building and repair, keeping you strong and energised.

Whether you enjoy it in the form of comforting dal dishes, crispy dosas, or fluffy idlis, urad dal is a versatile ingredient that can easily become a staple in your protein-packed pantry. So, the next time you're wondering about a protein boost in your diet, consider adding urad dal to your plate for both its taste and nutritional benefits.

2. Masoor Dal

Masoor Dal

Masoor dal, also known as red lentils, is an excellent source of protein, especially for individuals following a vegetarian or vegan diet. Masoor dal is rich in protein. On average, 100 grams of cooked masoor dal provides about 8-9 grams of protein. The protein content can vary slightly based on factors such as cooking methods and the specific variety of masoor dal. While plant-based proteins are often considered incomplete because they may lack certain essential amino acids, masoor dal is relatively well-balanced in terms of amino acid profile. 

Masoor dal is not only a good source of protein but also provides essential nutrients such as fiber, iron, folate, and various vitamins and minerals. It is a nutritious addition to a balanced diet.

In case you are wondering which dal has the highest protein, masoor dal is a great option. Masoor dal is a valuable plant-based protein source that offers not only protein but also a range of essential nutrients. Including it in your diet can contribute to meeting your protein needs and promoting overall health.

3. Moong Dal

Masoor Dal

Moong dal, also known as green gram or mung bean, is an excellent source of plant-based protein. Moong dal is rich in protein, making it a valuable plant-based protein source. On average, 100 grams of cooked moong dal provides around 7-9 grams of protein. This makes it a good choice for individuals looking to increase their protein intake, especially for vegetarians and vegans. Moong dal contains a good balance of essential amino acids. While it may not have all essential amino acids in optimal amounts, combining it with other plant-based protein sources (such as rice) can help create a more complete amino acid profile.

In addition to protein, moong dal is a good source of dietary fibre and minerals such as folate, iron, magnesium, potassium, and B vitamins.

Moong dal is also relatively low in fat, which makes it a healthy option for those watching their fat intake.

4. Chana Dal

Chana Dal

Chana Dal, also known as split chickpeas, is rich in protein, making it an important source of plant-based protein. Chana Dal is a good source of various essential nutrients, including fibre, iron, potassium, folate, and vitamin B6. These nutrients play crucial roles in maintaining overall health. Chana Dal is high in dietary fibre, which aids in digestion, promotes satiety, and helps regulate blood sugar levels.

Chana Dal also has a relatively low glycemic index, meaning it has a slower impact on blood sugar levels. This makes it a suitable food choice for individuals managing diabetes or those looking to stabilise their blood sugar levels.

If you are looking for which dal has the highest protein on a budget then Chana dal is your go to option.  Chana Dal is often more affordable compared to some other protein sources, making it an economical choice for individuals on a budget.

Remember, when incorporating Chana Dal into your diet, it's essential to soak and cook it properly to enhance its digestibility and reduce antinutrients. Overall, Chana Dal is a nutritious and protein-rich option that can be a valuable part of a balanced and healthy diet.

5. Toor Dal

Toor Dal

Toor dal, also known as arhar dal or pigeon peas, in 100 grams of cooked toor dal, you can find approximately 9 grams of protein. In addition to protein, toor dal is rich in other nutrients. It contains dietary fibre, vitamins (such as folate, thiamine, and vitamin K), and minerals (including iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium).

Toor dal also provides sustained energy due to its complex carbohydrate content and is a good source of dietary fiber, promoting digestive health.

6. Kulthi Dal

Kulthi Dal

Kulthi dal, also known as horse gram, is an excellent source of protein, especially for those following a vegetarian or plant-based diet. Kulthi dal is renowned for its high protein content. It is considered one of the richest vegetarian sources of protein among legumes. The protein content can range from 22 to 25 grams per 100 grams of raw dal.

While many plant-based protein sources may lack certain essential amino acids, horse gram is considered a good source of complete protein. It contains all the essential amino acids needed by the body. Kulthi dal is not just a protein source; it also provides various essential nutrients such as iron, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins. Additionally, it is known for its antioxidant properties.

When incorporating Kulthi dal into your diet, it's important to soak and cook it thoroughly, as it contains anti-nutritional factors that can be reduced through proper processing. 

Which dal has highest protein?

Among the dals mentioned, Kulthi Dal (horse gram) generally has the highest protein content. Horse gram is known for its rich protein content, and it is often considered one of the best sources of plant-based protein.

Here is a general comparison of the protein content in 100 grams of the dals you mentioned:

Dals Protein (Approximately)
Urad Dal (Black Gram) 24 gms
Masoor Dal (Red Lentils) 24 gms
Moong Dal (Green Gram) 24 gms
Chana Dal (Split Chickpeas) 25 gms
Toor Dal (Pigeon Peas) 22 gms
Kulthi Dal (Horse Gram) 22-25 gms

It's important to note that these values can vary based on factors such as the specific variety of the dal, cultivation methods, and cooking methods. Additionally, these dals not only provide protein but also other essential nutrients such as fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Including a variety of dals in your diet can contribute to a well-balanced and nutritious intake of proteins and other nutrients.

If you are looking for which dal has the highest protein, you are probably looking for good sources of plant based-protein. Before including more protein sources and protein supplements in your diet it is important to understand protein function, so that you can make the most of it and not cause more harm to your body than good. 

If you are someone who workouts regularly and wants to up their protein intake or just wants to include more protein in their diet consider using supplements like plant protein powder which contains pea and brown rice as its protein source along with a blend of Ayurvedic ingredients and enzymes which not only gives it additional health benefits but also makes it easy to digest.

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