30 protein rich foods in India [2020]

Protein Rich Foods in India

One thing every health-conscious or fitness enthusiastic person in India faces is- Running out of protein options in our diet. Majority of our Indian diets comprises of mainly carbohydrates and fats. It is not that, Protein is absent, it is there but the quantity is not sufficient or we think so.

Not all of us are non-vegetarians to source our protein from meat options available. And even if we are, getting in enough meat every day is also a problem. Meat is expensive and not allowed in every household. Eating outside every day is not a viable option as well. So what do we do?

For starters, not worry. Why?

Because 2 years back I found myself in the same shoes as you. And out of frustration, I took it upon myself to combine a list of protein-rich foods in India. I drafted this protein-rich list keeping in mind the ease of availability of each item. Most of the items in the list below are present in our home. And the others can be easily shopped from a mart or an online marketplace.

Fun fact– we have been eating most from this list since our childhood. But we were so busy finding out the one ultimate source of protein that we did not pay attention to what was cooking in our home. You might have ditched eating a lot of foods from this list. Because you thought it was just carbohydrates or fats deterring you from your weight loss goals. Initially, I made the same mistake. But after combining this list I re-included most of the food back in my diet. And you know what? I achieved all my fitness goals without any problems.

Without further ado let’s have a look at foods rich in protein in India.

Related: Vitamin C Rich Foods In India

Protein-rich foods in India

Let’s have a look at high protein foods in India.


Paneer

Protein rich foods in India Paneer

Paneer is the vegetarian alternative to chicken in India or as debated about [Veg vs. Non-veg]. Easy to make at home {curdling milk} and easy to find anywhere, paneer is a vegetarian’s favourite. Coming to the protein aspect. Paneer offers 18 grams of protein per 100g. It is a rich source of casein protein.


Pumpkin Seeds

Protein rich foods in India Pumpkin Seeds

Believe it or not, you can easily get Pumpkin seeds in any good general store near you. If unavailable, there are always online marketplaces which can deliver them right at your doorsteps. What makes pumpkin seeds great? Well, they have 19 grams of protein per 100 grams. Pumpkin seeds are also good for your immune system, prostate health, heart and liver and they even have anti-diabetic properties.

Did You know? Each pumpkin has nearly 500 seeds.


Kidney Beans

Protein rich foods in India Kidney Beans

Rajma-chawal lovers raise your hand and say aye!

Did you know? Apart from rice, Kidney beans can effectively accompany your salads as well. And for some reason, they taste good even boiled. The Rajma you have been eating since your childhood contains 9 grams of protein per 100 grams, I bet you did not know this as well.


Peanuts

Protein rich foods in India Peanuts

Who would have thought this amazing time-pass snack was actually high in protein? Peanuts are a good source of fats, protein and fiber. They have 26 grams of protein per 100 grams making it an ideal protein-rich snack for you. So ditch the chips and other “healthy” processed snacks and snack on some real food instead.

Did you know? Peanuts are not nuts, they are actually legumes.


Split Chickpeas

high protein foods in India Split chickpeas

Dal is something we have all hated in our childhoods. Most of us did not dislike the taste but we hated eating them regularly. I am sure most of my North-Indian folks can relate. Some of us might have started liking them eventually with age and some might have completely lost touch with dal.

If you are looking for an easily available protein-rich food in India. Then you have got to eat dal. Apparently, our parents were not wrong and dals are actually high in protein. Chana Dal has one of the highest fats and protein amongst other dals. It contains 30 grams of protein per 1 cooked cup. How amazing is that right? So bring back the dal in your diet.


Eggs

high protein foods in India Eggs

Eggs are one of the most nutritious food without a doubt. They contain several vitamins and minerals. Eggs can be a perfect partner in your health journey. They are cheap and high in protein. They are available at every general store or supermart. 1 hard-boiled egg has 6 grams of protein.


Almonds

high protein foods in India Almonds

We all thought of almonds as a great fat only source. But did you know they are high in protein as well? Believe it or not, almonds contain 21 grams of protein per 100 grams. Plus they are also rich in Vitamin E. Almonds also helps reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol.

Did you know? 40% of the world’s almonds are used by chocolate manufacturers.


Chickpeas

high protein foods in India Chickpeas

Be it with bhature or rice, Chole (Chickpeas) never fail to amaze you. Just like Rajma (Kidney beans), chickpeas are one of that food which every North-Indian loves. And I bet you never realised while binging on Chole-Bhature, that the Chole/chickpeas are rich in protein. They contain 9 grams of protein per 100 grams. Plus they are a good source of carbohydrates as well.


Milk

high protein foods in India Milk

Remember the days, Your mom rushing after you to make you drink milk? Good old days! Guess what? The milk was actually a good source of protein as well apart from calcium. Turns out you can get 3.4 grams of protein per 100 grams from milk. Also, milk is the main source of casein protein. So if you are not lactose intolerant, grab a glass of milk before bed.


Mung Beans

foods rich in protein in India Mung Beans

Back with another dal. Apart from in a dal dish, you would have seen mung at one more place. If your memory fails you, it is- sprout salads. Yes, sprout salads mostly use this lentil. Coming to mung bean’s protein content. It offers 11 grams of protein per cooked cup.


Cashews

foods rich in protein in India Cashews

Cashew or Kaju (as known in Hindi) is a great source of several vitamins and minerals. They are high in fats and rich in protein. Cashews contain 18 grams of protein per 100 grams. On top of it, these buttery nuts are delicious.

Did you know? Cashews grow out of cashew apple.


Chicken

foods rich in protein in India Chicken

It is one of the best and common sources of protein available. Chicken breast has one of the highest lean protein content. For the same reason, it is very popular amongst bodybuilders and strength athletes. Chicken breast (highest protein part of the chicken) is a great addition to your diet. They have almost no fat content. A chicken breast has 31 grams of protein per 100 grams.


Pistachios

foods rich in protein in India Pistachios

Just like peanuts, pistachios are one such snack, that once you start eating you find it hard to stop. And just like peanuts, pistachios are high in protein and can be a very healthy munching option. They contain 20 grams of protein per 100 grams. Turn your unhealthy snacking into healthy by adding pistachios and peanuts in your diet.

Did you know? Pistachios are related to the mango.


Semolina

foods rich in protein in India Semolina

You will better know this food item as Sooji here in India. Sooji can be transformed into many delicacies and it is pretty rich in protein. I am sure most of us never knew about it. But it does not make your Sooji ka halwa healthy, mind that. Coming to the protein quantity, sooji has 12.68 grams of protein per 100 grams.


Red Lentils

foods rich in protein in India Red Lentils

Another Dal, I know. Red lentils or masoor dal is very good for your skin. It is also rich in protein and offers you 20 grams of protein per cooked cup.


Peanut Butter

foods rich in protein in India Peanut butter

This western concept recently entered India. And it received a very warm welcome. The ease of spreading your peanuts on to a slice of bread or blending it in a shake to make it thick. Appealed to us so much that we forgot our beloved peanuts. But this does not mean peanut butter is bad, instead, they are a healthy, convenient and hassle-free option. Peanut butter is also high in protein and has around 25 grams of protein per 100 grams.


Almond Butter

foods high in protein in India Almond butter

This is another one of those western concepts that entered India. However, it did not receive that warm of a welcome as peanut butter. But it does not mean it is not a good option for you. Almond butter is very rich in protein and other nutrients as well. Almond butter just like peanut butter is a very convenient and alternative options one prefers. It contains 21 grams of protein per 100 grams.


Cheese

foods high in protein in India Cheese

Cheese has a very bad reputation. Owing to the fact it is high in calories. The bad name is also because where there is junk food, there is cheese. But cheese can be a part of your healthy diet plan. You just have to choose the right one. They are also rich in protein, on an average cheese contains 25 grams of protein per 100 grams. Some of the healthy cheese you can choose are-

Feta Cheese

Parmesan

Goat Cheese

Mozzarella

Cottage Cheese

Blue Cheese


Hempseeds

foods high in protein in India Hemp seeds

For the people looking for the best plant-based protein source, look no further. Hemp seeds are very high in protein. They contain a whopping 32 grams of protein per 100 grams. You can easily get them on any online marketplace in India. They are very beneficial to you.

Did you know? Hemp prevents deforestation.


Oats

foods high in protein in India Oats

Today, the majority of healthy food items sold in India have one ingredient in common. It is oats. Oats is the new superfood for the fitness enthusiasts in India. It is popular for its carbohydrates and fiber content. But did you know? Oats are also rich in protein. They contain 11.8 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Related: Eating oats has never been this easy and fun


Walnuts

foods high in protein in India Walnuts

Walnuts are another high in protein members of the nuts family. They contain 15 grams of protein per 100 grams. They are also rich in antioxidants and omega 3. In fact, the best plant-based source of omega 3s is walnut.

Did you know? Walnuts are the oldest tree food. They date back to 10000 BC.


Yoghurt

foods high in protein in India Yoghurt

Yoghurt has accompanied our taste buds along with many delicacies such as paratha, biryani etc. The delicious raitas would have been impossible without it. All in all, yoghurt has been a real saviour for many of us. And we all know about the probiotic benefits of it. But apart from probiotic benefits, did you know? yoghurts are rich in protein as well. They contain 10 grams of protein per 100 grams.


Split pigeon peas

foods high in protein in India Split pigeon peas

A very fancy name, isn’t it? But it is a part of the lentils family. Yes, it is another dal. It is none other than, toor dal. Toor dal just like any other lentil offers many benefits and is rich in protein content with 11 grams of protein per cooked cup.


Black Lentils

foods high in protein in India Black lentils

This is the last member of the lentils family in this list. And I saved the best one for the last. What makes black lentils or urad dal the best? Well, your beloved dal makhani would not be there if not for Urad dal. Urad dal is rich in protein and contains 10 grams of protein per cooked cup. Plus this protein-rich buttery delight is lip-smacking.


Soy Bean

foods high in protein in India soy bean

Soybeans are legumes low in saturated fats, high in vitamin C and rich in protein. They contain 36 grams of protein per 100 grams. Soybeans are available in many different forms in India. In India, Soybeans are widely available as- Soy Chunks, Soya Wadi, Soy milk and roasted soybeans.

Did you know? Soya Beans are the highest natural source of dietary fiber.


Chia Seeds

foods high in protein in India Chia seeds

Chia seeds gained popularity in India in the past recent years. The reason behind their popularity is, they are an excellent source of omega 3, fibre, iron and calcium. Apart from this, they are rich in protein as well. Chia seeds contain 17 grams of protein per 100 grams. Just two spoons of chia seeds can provide you with a lot of nutrition.

Did you know? Chia seeds have 8 times more omega 3s than salmon, 25% more fiber than flax seeds, 30% more antioxidants than blueberries, 2 times more potassium than bananas and 6 times more calcium than milk.


Cowpeas

foods high in protein in India cowpeas

Cowpeas or black-eye peas or lobia/chawli (as known in India) are a great source of protein and niacin. They are low in calories and cholesterol and contains almost all the micronutrients. Be it Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Copper or Maganese, they have it all. Cowpea/ Black-eyed pea contains 8 grams of protein per 100 grams.


Tofu

protein rich food in India Tofu

Tofu is very similar to paneer in terms of texture. Although it is a different thing. The process is very similar to how paneer and other cheeses are made but instead of milk, soy milk is used to make tofu. Tofu is high in protein. It contains 8 grams of protein per 100 grams.


Green Peas

protein rich food in India Green Peas

Green peas or matar (as known is India) is very common and easily available in India. In fact, a big chunk of Indian dishes contains peas. They go well along with a lot of food items. Peas are rich in minerals- magnesium and potassium and they are a great vegetarian protein source as well. They contain 5 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Related: Best pea protein powder in India


Quinoa

protein rich food in India Quinoa

Quinoa is a gluten-free grain which has accumulated quite some popularity over the past recent years. It is rich in dietary fiber, protein, B-vitamins and minerals. The protein content in quinoa is 13 grams per 100 grams. It is one of the few plant foods which contain enough amounts of all 9 essential amino acids.

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