India is plentiful in sources of vegan protein. As a person adhering to a relatively unknown diet, though, the number one question I get asked ALL the time is, "where do you get your protein?"
I guess this is a natural inquiry: when a family member explains my diet, they start off by explaining what I DON'T eat, as opposed to what I do. The other person often hears, "She doesn't eat beef, chicken, pork, eggs, milk, rice, chapati, ghee..." Their eyes go wide and they ask the question. The big "P" question. The protein question.
I designed this vegan infographic to show that yes, Indians can get their daily protein quite easy.
- Lentils have 18 g of all vegan protein goodness per one cup. Dal, anyone?
- Tofu, or soya paneer as it is sometimes known, has 13 g per 5 oz.
- Pumpkin seeds have 8 grams for half a cup. They're great served in trail mix or ground up into a paste and used as the base for a dip.
- Mung beans have a whopping 14 grams per cup. I often sprout mine, making it a powerhouse of nutrients.
- Chana... mmm, chana curry... also a great source.
- Ground nuts are a tasty way to get protein, too, with 10 grams of protein for 1.5 oz.
- Soy milk has 7 grams per 1 cup, which is great because I drink it every day in my coffee and tea.
Other sources include black beans and quinoa. Both are found here in India albeit not as easily or cheaply. I've found a can of organic black beans at Nilgiris for like, 150 rs. I found a jar of quinoa for a whopping 500 rs, but I comforted myself knowing it will at least last a month or two.
So tell your family not to worry: you won't pass out from malnutrition at the second cousin's wedding and shame the family name, nor will you be unable to partake in athletics due to "a lack of protein." There's an abundance of it here in this country... if you know where to look!