Which bean, pea, pulse, legume or dal has the most protein content? (Day 21)

My weight stayed the same at 68kg. Body Fat dropped 0.1% to 17.2%. Body Water rose to 56.9% and Body Muscle rose by 0.1% to 43.1%.  

I had run out of lemons so I started the day with a glass of fresh grape juice and quinoa, with coconut milk, strawberries and agave nectar.  

For lunch I had red lentils, with whole grain basmati rice.  

It was my day off today so I didn’t do any exercise. I wanted to chill out and therefore stayed in and relaxed.  

Kala chana, salad and vegetable juice

Kala chana, salad and vegetable juice

For my evening meal I had kala chana with salad and vegetable juice (cucumber, beetroot, carrot, celery and a clove of garlic).  

I am an emotional eater

I am an emotional eater

During the evening I snacked on some Iranian dates. I also snacked on Japanese rice crackers and drank some grape juice. After hearing about my grandfather yesterday I responded with a shopping spree of legitimate to almost legitimate foods as a de-stressor. I guess you could say I am an emotional eater. In hindsight it seems, though the Japanese rice crackers were not made of wheat, it is probable that they broke one of my detox rules. They are made of rice flour which I imagine is white rice and high in GI. In fact all three of my snacks this evening were high GI. A price I have no doubt I will have to pay for in the morning…  

Earlier this week I tried to find out which beans, peas, pulses, legumes or dals (daals) contain the highest protein content. I searched all over the world wide web and can now present to you the following exhaustive list (in descending order):  



Pulses protein per 100g (uncooked / raw):

  1. Soybeans: 36.49g 
  2. Lupini Beans / Lupin Beans: 36.17g
  3. Velvet Beans: 32.4g
  4. Red Lentils / Pink Dal / Masoor Dal: 26.0g
  5. Chana Dal / Bengal Gram: 25.4 g
  6. Broad Beans / Fava Beans / Faba Beans/ Horse Beans: 25.0g
  7. Pinto Beans: 25.0g
  8. Peanuts: 25.0g
  9. Urid Dal / Urad Bean: 24.0g
  10. Adzuki Beans: 24.0g
  11. Hyacinth Beans / Lablab Bean: 23.9g
  12. Moong Dal / Green Gram: 23.86g
  13. Lobhia / Black Eyed Beans / Cowpeas: 23.8g
  14. Red Kidney Beans / Red Beans / Kidney Beans: 23.6g
  15. Moth Beans: 23.6g
  16. Runner Beans / Scarlet Runner Beans: 23.0g
  17. Tur Dal / Red Gram / Pigeon Pea: 22.3g
  18. Black Beans: 21.6g
  19. Bambara Groundnut: 20.8g
  20. Yellow Split Peas / Green Split Peas: 20.0g
  21. Cannellini Beans / Great Northern Beans: 20.0g
  22. Borlotti Beans: 19.0g
  23. Haricot Beans / Navy Beans / White Beans: 18.0g
  24. Blue Boilers: 18.0g
  25. Lima Beans / Butter Beans / Calico Beans: 16.0g
  26. Green Lentils: 14.0g
  27. Brown Lentils: 14.0g
  28. Edamame Beans: 14.0g
  29. Kala Chana / Black Chana: 13.0g
  30. Chana / Garbanzo / Chickpeas: 13.0g
  31. Winged Beans: 12.0g
  32. Green Peas: 5.42g
  33. Moringa Oleifera: 2.5g
  34. Yam Beans: 1.4g

Right at the top of the pulse pyramid for protein is the famous or infamous (depending on your perspective) soybean. I have already written about the potential problems of consuming unfermented soybean products.

Lupins or lupini beans

Lupins or lupini beans

Middle Eastern lupin vendor

Middle Eastern lupin vendor

Up at a very close second is the Lupini bean, or lupin bean or lupins for plural. I hadn’t heard of it until compiling this list. When I looked at images and descriptions of this bean I realised that I had the pleasure of eating this bean outside the shrine of Ruqayya (known in the Indian-Subcontinent as Sakina) the great granddaughter of Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, in Damascus, Syria. In February earlier this year my dad and I were waiting for my mum to meet us outside the shrine. Outside the main entrance in the bazaar was a street vendor serving these funny yellow looking beans. What we found peculiar was how his mobile vending apparatus doubled-up as a temporary place for customers to eat the produce he was selling. We saw a security official squeezing a lemon wedge onto the bean and then dipping these yellow beans into a brownish powder before squeezing the bean out of its skin into his mouth. It looked very interesting. We had never seen anything like it before. As we love to try and experience the cultures of local people when we travel, we were eager to have a go. We asked the vendor what it was. He said “Tarmuz “or “Tormus” (couldn’t remember what he said until just looking it up online). The powder was brown salt, and it seemed as if the beans were soaked in warm salty/lemony water before being served to us. There was an art to eating it. First you had to squeeze the kernel out of its skin by pinching the skin between your thumb and index finger, rub a wedge of fresh lemon on it then dip it in salt, pop it in your mouth and then discard the skin. It reminds me of the art of drinking Tequila. It was a memorable experience and I would definitely recommend trying it if you happen to be in the Middle East and come across one of these street lupin vendors. 

Red lentils

Red lentils

The highest ranking legume in terms of protein content that is readily available without any controversy in regards to its safety is the red lentil. I shall therefore make a conscious effort to include more red lentils in my diet whilst on this detox to provide me with a vegetarian source of protein.

August 29th, 2010
40 Day Detox Diary
  • Pingback: Lupini Beans Imported (castella) 1lb | Beans And Legumes

  • Lalit

    hey how about when we cook them?? do protein remain same?
    cant eat raw dals ..lol

    • http://www.40daydetox.com Ali Zaidi

      Hey Lalit,

      I initially started the list with cooked values for protein. But I soon found that finding that information was close to impossible. I just couldn’t find comprehensive data on cooked legumes, whereas finding protein values for raw pulses was a lot easier. As a general rule though, cooked dals have less protein in them compared to when raw. Hope that helps! Ali

  • Ravendchand

    what about canary bean/ mayocoba bean ?? it has the highest protein content after soya

    • snootyelites

      Same as pinto

  • http://good-protein-shakes.blogspot.com Protein shakes

    The information is very interesting. It made me understand something about protein, and it is that I never knew before. I’ve been learning from your blog.

  • http://www.winkslondon.com/ Palma

    Informative post.Interesting I found this blog by accident. Really glad I did though, I’ll be back from now on.

  • Rahul

    good info .

  • Hussain Foladi

    Just Owsome… :)

  • MagicAndre

    The values for Chickpea/Chana seem to be wrong. Chickpea are super high in protein. Close to or higher than peanuts probably.

  • Nishit Patel

    Good information!!

  • Aalok Srivastav

    Kala chana and Bengal gram are the same, but you have listed different protein make ups for the two, in different places.


Enter Search KeyWord:     


Recent Posts


September 2019
« Aug