Nutrition Meets Food Science

Go “Pro” With Adequate Protein in Diet: Part 2 Have Great Protein-rich Dishes

In the first part, the importance of proteins in our diet was given along with all the various benefits of proteins for our health. Also given were some of the foods and ingredients that are rich in protein along with their protein contents. Using these ingredients we could make some really delicious recipes that would not only be very tasty but healthy.

Let us take a look at a few simple yet delicious recipes which can fulfill adequate protein requirements as well as add as an appetizer.

  1. Masala Chole


  • Chickpea: 1 cup soaked in water
  • Green tea bags: 2 (intact)
  • Cinnamon: ½ to 1 inch
  • Bay leaf: 1
  • Cardamom: 3 to 4 pods
  • Cloves: 3 to 4
  • Salt: ½ tsp
  • Water: 3 cups

Step 1: Add all the above ingredients in a cooker and let it whistle four to five times. Then remove the teabags and notice the change in the color of teabags (light brown). Keep this prepared item in a separate bowl.

Step 2: Take 1 tsp cumin, coriander seeds, black pepper, and Kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) along with three to four cloves. Now dry roast these ingredients at low flame and then grind them into fine powder. Add turmeric and aamchur (raw mango powder) to taste along with half a tsp of pomegranate powder ¼ tsp chana masala and a sprinkle of heeng (asafoetida) to it. Dry roast them till it starts to give light aromatic flavor.

Step 3: In another pan add 2 tsp of oil (preferably olive oil or sunflower oil). Add one finely chopped onion and sauté well till it turns pinkish in color, now add 1 tsp of garlic ginger paste to it and again cool for few minutes. Observe the beautiful color changes in the onion and garlic. Once properly cooked it would turn light brown and start to give a mouthwatering aroma.

Step 4: Add the above prepared items of steps 1, 2, and 3 in a pan and mix well. Add one and a half tsp of salt to it and mix well.

Step 5: Serve this lovely aromatic food garnished with coriander leaves and cumin seeds.

  1. Moong Dal Sprout Salad

Take one cup moong (green gram) sprouts soaked in water and drained. Take a salad bowl and add red chilly powder (¼ tsp), cumin powder ( ¼ tsp), aamchur ( ½ tsp), salt ( ¼ tsp) and mix well. Add the moong sprouts, one chopped onion, one chopped tomato, some coriander, mint up to taste and 1 tsp lemon vinaigrette dressing or lemon juice whichever is easily available and mix well. Now your salad is ready to be served with shredded paneer (Indian cottage cheese) on it.

  1. Dahi Paneer Tikka/ Paneer Kebab

Ingredients for chutney:-

  • 10 peanuts
  • ½ ginger
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 to 3 green chilies
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup pudina (mint)
  • ½ cup coriander

Step 1: Grind all the above ingredients in a grinder.

Step 2: Add ½ cup curd and blend all the ingredients again

Step 3: In a frying pan take 2 Tbsp besan (gram flour) and cook till it changes to light brown and starts giving an aroma.

Step 4: In another bowl take half a cup curd, 2 Tbsp ginger garlic paste, jeera (cumin) powder, gram masala, mustard oil (1/2 tsp), black pepper, and salt to taste. Mix well.

Step 5: Take 200g paneer cut into chunks into this mixture and marinate. Add turmeric powder (1/4 tsp)

Step 6: Fix marinated paneer chunks in sticks and grill them.

Step 7: Serve with the chutney and garnished with coriander

  1. Soya Bhurji

Soya Bhurji is a nutritious dish that can be eaten as a filling in sandwiches, rolls, or simply with chapattis. All you need is the following ingredients:-

  • 1 cup soya granules soaked in lukewarm water
  • 1 onion
  • Chilly to taste
  • Coriander to taste and for garnish purpose
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • Pinch of turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste

Method of preparation:-Mince the soaked soya chunks properly. Put oil in a pan and heat. Add chopped onion, chilly, garam masala & turmeric. Add washed and soaked soya granules. Mix well so that the masala mixes proportionately with soya granules, till cooked. Add salt to taste. Serve with garnishing of coriander on it.

  1. Chicken biriyani

Chicken Biryani is a delicious hearty rice dish loaded with flavourful marinated chicken, caramelized onions, and savoury saffron rice. Heat the refined oil in a deep bottomed skillet. Once the oil is hot enough, add the cumin, bay leaf, green cardamom, black cardamom, and cloves (4 No.) and fry for about a minute. Then add the chopped onions (2 No.) and sautéuntil pink. Now add the chicken marinated in yogurt or curd (4-5 pieces in 1 bowl of curd/yogurt) with sliced​​green chilies, turmeric, salt to taste, garlic ginger paste, red chili powder, and green chili paste. Mix all the spices well and cook for 20-25 minutes. Then add the curd. Return the flame to medium and add garam masala along with julienned ginger, coriander, and mint leaves. Cook until chicken is tender. Then add 1 cup of cooked rice and distribute evenly. put some ghee on top. Cook for 15 minutes. Garnish with 1 tablespoon of fried onions and coriander leaves. Serve hot chicken biryani.

  1. Egg Biriyani

Heat 5 cups of water in a large saucepan.As soon as the water starts to boil, add the rice, salt, bay leaf, and cloves. Stir everything and simmer over medium heat for 17 minutes. Check the rice after 15 minutes and turn off the heat. Strain the water and reserve the rice. Place 6 eggs in a large bowl and sprinkle with red chili powder, turmeric, and salt. Brush the eggs with the herbs mentioned above and set them aside. Heat ½ teaspoon of oil in a large non-stick pressure cooker. Add the eggs and simmer for 12 minutes. Once the eggs begin to bubble and brown on both sides, turn off the heat. Remove the eggs and reserve. In a large plate, add the thinly sliced ​​onions, 1 teaspoon oil, and flour. Mix everything together (lightly sprinkle the onions with flour to make them more crisp). In the same pressure cooker, add 2tablespoonsof oil and 3 tablespoons of battered onion mixture. Sautéover low to medium heat until onion turns brownish-pink and crisp. Remove from heat and store on a plate or kitchen paper.Also, fry 3 small onions and reserve. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil + 2 tablespoons of ghee in the same pressure cooker. Add all the crushed whole spices and sauté for a minute. Add the ginger garlic paste and all the powdered spices and sautéover medium heat until golden brown(approx. 2 minutes). Now add the fried onions and fry them. Add the yogurt and water and cook covered for another 2 minutes. Now add the fried eggs and let everything simmer for 2 minutes. Then turn off the fire. separated eggs in a bowl and place the cooked masala in a separate bowl. Turn off the heat and wait 5 minutes. The biryani is now ready to serve.

So using other ingredients rich in protein and tasty garnishing stuff you can make your own recipe which would be customised according to your taste and preferences.  Hence it can be concluded that protein is an essential part of our diet and protein requirements must be met for a healthy body and mind especially for people who do heavy physical activity and growing young generation. So the bottom line being that protein must be included in one’s diet inadequate amount for a fit body.

So Don’t be lean and Go Pro with Protein!

Ms Manpreet Kaur

Intern/Tech. Assistant, PFNDAI

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