Dal Fry

Have you noticed – about how most Indian fried snacks are protein rich?

Vada – check (urad dal)
Maddur Vade – check (besan)
Boondi – check (besan)
Pakoda – check (besan)
Bajji – check (besan)
Sev – check (besan)
Papad – check (urad dal)
(you have several varieties of papad, and most are heavy in some dal or the other)

Even Chakkli and kODbaLe which are thought to be rice-based have a major proportion of Urad Dal flour in them. Go on and make a list. List out any popular traditional Indian fried snack, and you will find that it is protein rich!

Wonder what it is about protein and fat that they so commonly enter the stomach together!

7 thoughts on “Dal Fry”

  1. Could this be something to do with the fundae about Hindus being non-vegetarian a long time back, and hence needing a viable replacement for chicken when the conversion happened?

  2. 1) Proteins are made of amino acids, most of which are hydrophobic. So, a package (dal)of polymers of amino acids can absorb only so much water. Carbs on the other hand are polyols (mostly glucose – fructose polymers) that can absorb a lot of water, even if they can be dehydrated (raw rice).
    When it comes to frying products, i suspect that low water content (yet, sufficient water to give consistency to the bater) correlates with lesser oil intake. Hence, the preponderance of proteins.
    2) snacks as protein supplements is an attractive hypothesis, although its difficult to speculate because ancient hindus might not have known the distinction between proteins and carbs. Moreover, I presume food was not available in plenty in the good old days, so snacks would be a luxury that it would be futile to get food supplements from snacks.

  3. However, most plant sources of proteins (legumes and nuts) are not complete proteins i.e they may not contain all the eight essential amino acids. In contrast, eggs, poultry and milk are complete proteins.

    Also, since vegetables are typically side dishes in our diet, we end up consuming less than the required amount to avoid a protein deficiency. I suppose it is a lot more uncommon to find people consuming 200g of soybeans than 200g of chicken.

    Which is why we veggies are always up against it when it comes to avoiding protein deficiency.

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