Every Indian household knows how important daals are in meal planning. They make them everyday. Its the western equivalent of meat in a meal and is their source of protein(it’s rich in carbs and calories as well though).Protein has always been an important part of a human diet. Plant proteins have lately been studied and much appreciated.
Theories of incomplete proteins balanced with food combinations has been banished and a new theory of eating a variety of proteins to complete all the nine essential amino acids has risen. In simple terms, if you are a vegetarian- do not fear. Just try and consume a wide variety of proteins . In case a person leads a sedentary lifestyle, I would say such over emphasis on proteins is not even justified. On the other hand, anyone pursuing resistance training with heavy weights would fare well in restoring damaged muscles through a high protein intake. But, even at such times, I would not recommend powders or supplements unless a ‘steroidal hulk’ look is desired. Natural foods are the best foods to consume. The body does not get stressed with undue pressure of digesting processed proteins.
Some people depend on eggs, fish, chicken, milk, yoghurt, cheese, daals, peanuts and nuts as their protein sources. But usually, a high emphasis goes on to animal proteins as most of us are not aware that vegetables, beans, grains and soy are also great sources of proteins.
Sometimes daals are not made the way people like them. Its the kids who have a problem usually. Daals don’t always have to be made in a curry form. Whole daals can be boiled and kept aside for salads and chaats( spicy concoctions with lemon and masalas) as well. Sprouts is another form of daals where the beans are sprouted and taste way different than a regular lentil curry. Kids who dislike daals can be served tomato based soupy daals with breads of choice. Hummus is made with garbanzo(white choley) beans and is another great way to have certain crunchy vegetables (like carrots and cucumbers) with.Try fresh pineapple with moong dal sprouts or choped fresh tomato with golden boiled chana dal and cucumber for salads in summers. In the winters, a steamy daal stew will have many takers.
The use of turmeric, tamarind and vegetables enhances not just the flavour but also the nutrition content. Accompany your daals with raw salads at dinner instead of rice and
welcome to the world of health. We certainly need to think of raw vegetable salads as a staple considering that having breads(wheat ) and rice at all three meals is not required by our bodies. Much like we don’t need added sugars and salt.A bowl of daal is high in carbohydrates and protein and would roughly have over 200 calories. Having said that, these are definitely good calories and something that we need. But do give it (daal) more importance by not always mixing it with rice or roti especially if about to hit the bed.
A nice warm bowl of your favorite daal with vegetables is enough for your body to thank you this winter. Don’t forget to eat with gratitude.:-)