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The science of eating Rice and Daal together

The science behind Dal-Chawal

A well known and staple food in most Indian households is – Daal-Chawal (Rice with lentils) . The warm, flavourful dal pouring over steaming hot rice sounds like the perfect comfort food. But the truth is, it is a lot more than just that.

Rice and Lentils are readily available in India in all Ration and Grocery stores . They are one of the most cultivated crops in our country . Thus , making easy availability and access .

Proteins are an essential factor for growth of our body . Proteins are made of Amino acids . There are a total of 20 amino acids , and most of them are produced by our body . BUT there are 9 amino acids that cannot be produced by our body , they are called ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS and so they have to be taken to our body through food . So in order for proper production and metabolism of proteins , it is necessary to take these essential amino acids from our diet .

All these essential amino acids can be obtained from the very basic Indian food – Daal- Chawal
This is how…
Rice lacks an essential amino acid – LYSINE , but Lentils are rich in lysine . Whereas Lentils lack in amino acid -METHIONINE , which is highly present in rice . So eating Rice and lentils together fulfills the requirement of all essential amino acids in our body . This makes Dal-Chawal the best meal once a day .
And so Rice and Lentils complete each other .

Other than these nutritional benefits , it can be safely said that they simply taste good together. Dishes of rice and lentils, usually cooked with spices and caramelized onions, are a staple in India. Also , daal brings bright flavors, rich aromas and a bright color contrast to the simple dish of rice.

It is said in one of the most popular and trusted Medical Journal – THE LANCET ,
that the world should embrace ‘rice with a side of lentils’ as their meal in order to save the world. It could prevent premature deaths that take place majorly due to starvation . The study involved environmental experts and doctors who also suggested that along with adapting dal chawal as a lunch and dinner meal, we need to reduce the meat and sugar intake by 50% to bring a balance between the overfed and under-fed in the world.

As for us Indians, we may have different names for dal chawal depending on various states but we’ve all been doing this for a very long time now. Once you get hooked to its taste, there is no turning back.

-Chanchal Kriplani

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