Protein is an essential macronutrient that plays a vital role in the growth, repair, and maintenance of our bodies. It is present in large quantities in foods like chicken and red meat, as well as supplements, which can be costly options. However, many people are unaware of affordable high-protein sources that are readily available in India. In this article, we'll explore some affordable protein foods yet nourishing sources of proteins that can be found locally!

If you’re someone who loves to exercise and stay fit, you probably know the importance of consuming protein. Protein is an essential macronutrient for our bodies, playing a crucial role in metabolism, muscle growth and repair, hormone production and delivering energy throughout day-to-day activities. While some individuals may resort to external protein supplements or opt for costly protein sources. However, not everyone can afford these expensive protein sources and would prefer low-budget protein foods. In this article, we’ll explore some accessible and affordable high-protein foods that can help you maintain a balanced and wholesome diet without straining your budget.

Affordable Protein Sources In India

In India, where a significant portion of the population is vegetarian, it's crucial to identify affordable sources of protein, to get enough of this macronutrient every day. Let's take a closer look at these options, their nutritional value, and how they can become a part of your daily diet.

Affordable High-Protein foods


Protein Content/ 100 g




Amaranth: Gluten-free amaranth seeds offer a protein-rich solution for weight management.

Bajra: With high fiber and protein content, bajra delays food digestion, enhancing meal satisfaction and guarding against weight gain.

Both amaranth and bajra are affordable high-protein foods that are easily available in any grocery store and are staples in the Indian diet.





Research has shown that soybeans, like other legumes, are acknowledged as a budget-friendly food option suitable for inclusion in a wide range of diets, making them a valuable source of protein regardless of one's economic status.


Chickpea, chole

Chickpeas offer a cost-effective and high-quality source of dietary proteins, complex carbohydrates, as well as essential vitamins and micronutrients, meeting the nutritional needs of the population in Southern Asia.


Lentil Dal

Lentils, an affordable plant-based protein source, offer numerous health benefits when consumed as sprouts. They're rich in protein, low in calories, and packed with essential nutrients like folate, vitamin C, and fiber.




When it comes to dairy products, milk and yoghurt are the most affordable protein sources in India. Cow's milk is a protein-rich and nutrient-dense beverage that supports healthy body weight and enhances feelings of fullness and satisfaction.



Yoghurt is a fantastic source of proteins, vitamins, and minerals, offering excellent nutritional value for its cost.



Paneer, commonly found in Indian diets, is a more cost-effective option for obtaining high protein compared to cheese in the Indian subcontinent.


Eggs (boiled)

Eggs are often regarded as one of the best and affordable protein sources, particularly when compared to fish and other meat options. Eggs are a protein powerhouse that can curb your appetite, helping reduce calorie intake and aiding in weight loss.



Nuts and dried fruits can be costly, but peanuts are one of the most affordable high-protein food sources among nuts.



Here are a few delicious recipes with affordable protein foods that you can incorporate into your daily meals:

1.    Breakfast: Start your day right with a protein-packed breakfast that will keep you fueled and focused until lunchtime.

2.    Lunch: Power through the rest of your day with these delicious protein-packed dishes

3.    Snack: Satisfy your cravings with these easy-to-prepare snacks that are loaded with protein.

4.    Dinner: End your day on a delicious note with these high-protein dishes that are wholesome and delicious:

It's important to note that individual protein needs may vary, so consulting a healthcare professional and consuming controlled portions is recommended to determine your specific daily protein requirements.


Finding low-budget protein foods in India doesn't have to be a challenging task. With a wide range of options to choose from, you can maintain a balanced and nutritious diet if you know where to look. Lentils, chickpeas, paneer, are all accessible and budget-friendly choices that provide the essential protein your body needs. Balance this with regular exercise and balanced meal plans, and you'll be well on the way to having a healthier life!