Indian foods with high protein

Parentree-editors 2009-07-20 10:10:22

Here is a list of Indian foods (pulses, beans, nuts, fish, meat, and milk products) with high protein content. These have approximately 20g or more of protein per 100 gms of the food.

Local names of many of the foods are also listed.

  • Pulses and Beans (Most are also low in fat)
    • Bengal gram, Chick pea, Chana, Kothukadalai, Sanagalu
    • Black gram, Urad dal, Ulutham paruppu, Minapa pappu, Mashkalair, Udad
    • Cow pea, Lobia, Karamani, Chorap, Barbati, Bobbarlu
    • Green gram, Moong, Payatham paruppu, Pesara pappu
    • Lentils, Masur
    • Rajma, Phanasi, Barbati, Barigalu
    • Soyabean (Highest protein in  this category but has moderate fat)
  • Cereals and Grains
    • Wheat germ
  • Nuts like almonds, cashewnuts, groundnuts, sunflower seeds, water melon seeds etc., are also high in protein but contain high fat, almost 40 - 50gms of fat per 100 gms of these nuts. So watch how much you eat of these nuts in quest of protein as you can easily overload on fats. Use them in small quantities to complement other sources of protein.
  • Condiments & Spices
    • Fenugreek,Methi, Venthayam, Menthulu
  • Fish (most are also low fat)
    • Bhekti, Pandu chapa, Painnee meen
    • Bhagon
    • Catfish, Shingala, Keluthi, Jellalu
    • Hilsa, Palasa, Oolum (Moderate fat)
    • Mahasole, Naharm, Khadchi, Kuil meen, Pedda-polika
  • Meat & poultry
    • Chicken
    • Lean goat meat
  • Milk and milk products
    • Cheese (high in fat)
    • Paneer
    • Khoa, Thirattu pal - (From skimmed milk for low fat)
    • Pasteurised Cow's milk - Liquid form has only moderate protein, while powder form has a lot of protein. Do not rely on liquid milk alone to provide enough protein to your children, especially if you are vegetarian. Make sure they eat enough pulses and beans also, besides drinking enough milk.


1. "Nutritive Value Indian Foods", a publication of the National Instititue of Nutrition, Indian Council of Medical Research, Hyderabad.  Authors: C. Gopalan, B.V. Rama Sastri, S.C. Balasubramanian, B.S. Narasinga Rao, T.G. Deosthale, K.C. Pant


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