|The butter spread on this slice of bread has more protein than a large egg, a cup of milk or 1 oz of meat. Yippee!|
In India, we have a tradition of going off seafood and meat during the monsoons. While we've made a celebratory ritual of this period (we have a way of doing that with almost everything :))), there are scientific reasons for this abstinence.
The rainy season is a time for procreation for creatures of the Indian Ocean. And leaving the young ones alone means bigger yummier food for the rest of the year!
As for meat, someone who is in the meat business (+MeatRoot ) explained that the freshly sprouted grass (and other vegetation I guess) during the rains, builds up lactic acid stores in grazing animals. This in turn affects the taste of meat.
End of trivia. And back to the eternal question: how does a vegetarian get enough protein?
The answer to that too seems to have a hint in tradition. Mostly vegetarian households in Maharashtra grind up jars and jars of spicy, garlicky seed chutneys that are mixed with rice, swooped up with chapatis and even sprinkled on bread.
My version uses a combination of seeds and nuts (which are seeds after all) to pack in an unbelievable 8.6 g of protein per teaspoon. To put that in reference, that's more protein than you get from a large egg, a cup of milk or an oz of red meat!
1/2 cup peanuts
1/2 cup sesame seeds (lightly toasted)
1/4 cup poppy seeds (lightly toasted)
1/4 cup cashew nuts
1 clove of garlic (optional)
2 dried red chillies (this amount can be varied, depending on how much heat you can take)
Salt to taste
1 tsp oil (optional)
Grind the sesame seeds and poppy seeds to a paste or very fine powder. Add the nuts, garlic (if using) red chillies and salt and pulverise until it turns into a creamy paste. Add the oil only if the process takes too long.
Scrape every bit into a clean jar and store, refrigerated.
You could leave the garlic and chilli out and add half of teaspoonful of honey. I like combining the chilli and honey to add depth of flavour. But garlic is a no no with this combo.