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Written by: Bhavani Swaminathan @aakanksha_dfw

Proteins help in building up the body. The need for complete proteins is greatest from prenatal life through childhood, when there is new growth of bones, muscles, skin and hair. Incomplete proteins do not contain all the amino acids in the correct proportions. And therefore they do not efficiently repair worn out tissues. Proteins are not stored in the body as proteins, they are stored as fats. Ayurvedic texts state that proteins are needed in quantity by the human body until thirty five years of age. Use of large amounts of proteins after this age is harmful. One can consume a variety of fresh vegetables and legumes, that derive essential amino acids.

Following is the recipe of sambhar, a typical Indian vegetarian complete protein food consisting of pulses and vegetables.



Red lentils : 100 gms

Grated coconut : 50 gms

Corriander seeds : 2 tsp

Fenugreek seeds : 1 tsp

Mustard seeds : ½ tsp

Turmeric powder : 2 tsp

Salt : to taste

Vegetable oil : 2 tsp

Tamarind water : 1 cup


Pressure cook red lentils adding 1 tsp turmeric powder. Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and add coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds and grated coconut and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Transfer this in a blender and make a smooth paste by adding water. Keep this paste aside. Heat 1 tsp oil in and add mustard seeds. Once the seeds splutter, add vegetables of your choice and sauté for 2 minutes. Now add tamarind water, turmeric powder, salt and boil till all the vegetables are cooked properly. At this point of time add the cooked red lentils and the coconut paste. Let it boil for 5-7 minutes. Garnish with curry leaves.

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