Sattu Vs Whey| Which Is Better?

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Sattu is made by processing gram (chana or chhole). Bengal gram is a commonly used pulse and is a very popular item in majority of the Indian households. De-husked grams are cleaned, roasted and pulverised to convert them in powder or flour form and this is known as Sattu.

sattu drink

Some people even use a mix of chickpea (kabuli or safed chana) and Bengal gram (kala chana) to make sattu, and that adds an interesting twist to the flavour. In Punjab, sattu is usually made with barley & corn. This barley based sattu, is a popular in Tibet & Ladakh. 

In Ayurveda, Sattu has been described as Saktu. According to classical texts of Ayurveda, Powder of roasted and dehusked Yava (barley) is known as Saktu. While Acharya Bhavaprakash stated that powdered form of any roasted Dhanya (cereals/grains/corn) is known as Saktu. Saktu can be made by roasted Chanaka (Bengal grams) Yava (barley) and Shali (a variety of rice).

Sattu is regularly used in many households and restaurants & eateries. It is used in many food and snack preparations especially during summer and is an item of mass consumption. 

One of the most indigenous protein sources of India, sattu is no stranger to the locals of Bihar, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, UP, and West Bengal.

The consumption of sattu in Bihar and UP can be traced back to five centuries ago. In his Indian Food Tradition: A Historical Companion, K.T. Achaya writes about a 16th century text that lists sattu as foods of the Indo-Gangetic Plain. Bengal gram also has a Sanskrit name, chanaka,which indicates that it’s been cultivated in India longer than other countries in the world.

Colleen Taylor Sen, in her book Feasts and Fasts: A History of Food in India, says that chana(the Hindi name for Bengal gram, or chickpea) came to the Indus Valley from Western Asia in the fourth millennium BCE. She also mentions the consumption of chickpea flour during Indus Valley civilization, so it can be assumed that sattu was known to us thousands of years ago.

Kala Chana has origins tracing to as early as 5400 BC in Turkey and found in 2500 BC in Indus Valley in present day India. The British first encountered it in Bengal and hence is also known as Bengal Gram.

In fact, our ancestors were already aware of this nugget since sattu was a staple until the end of the Kushan Empire. It is said, that during that time, Kalinga sailors and soldiers would carry sacks of sattu (and chuda) to sustain their long maritime trips. In Mauryan times, sattu was part of the payment for in-war battalions. Given its interesting mix of nutrients, sattu became the choice for Shivaji when he was engaged in full-scale guerrilla warfare against the Mughals and its allies. One of the reasons for this was because sattu— which is essentially powdered sand-roasted gram— didn’t have to be cooked.

Sattu is a wonder flour that can be consumed uncooked. The cooling properties of sattu make it a perfect summer choice. 

The ‘poor man’s protein’ as it is often referred to is not only tasty, but packed with a lot of health benefits as well. It has low glycaemic index and high fibre content. It is one of the highest sources of vegetarian proteins that is easily digestible and also of calcium and magnesium. 

Therefore, Sattu is considered as the lifeline of poor people in two ways: The protein-rich, highly affordable sattu diet keeps malnutrition at bay; two, it needs no cooking, and thus saves them precious fuelwood.

(Bengal gram+ kabuli chana + soy + bajra + ragi + jau (barley) + jaggery + beetroot juice powder)

Sattu per 100gm:

Calories: 385 cal

Fat: 5.5gm

Carbs: 63-65gm 

Protein: 23-26gm

Fibre: 7gm 

Sodium: 109-159mg

Potassium: 515mg

Ingredients Proteins Carbs Fats Total Calories
Whey Concentrate (30gm)22gm (73gm)2.4gm (8gm)2gm115kcal
Whey Isolate (30gm)24gm (79gm)0.6gm0.3gm101kcal
Vegan/Plant Protein (30gm)21gm (70gm)4.4gm (15gm)2.3gm120kcal