One of the most popular snacks or meal options in India, especially in Maharashtra and Mumbai is the traditional Misal pav, which is made using a mixture of various spices, condiments, and farsan all served with Pav or bread. The gravy contains lentils that when prepared correctly, are extremely healthy as not only are they a good source of complex carbohydrates and fiber, but also pack in a significant amount of protein. So is Misal pav a nutritious meal or a snack, or is there something more to it? In today's Know Your Calories blog, we've analyzed the ingredients and presented the facts.
While the gravy does contain a fair amount of lentils and spices, it is also cooked in a fair amount of oil, but that isn't even the worse part. The farsan added to the gravy is deep-fried, and mostly purchased in bulk by restaurants. Not only is the quality of oil used in frying the farsan questionable, but it is also calorically loaded. Another issue with the dish is the fact that it is served with white bread or pav that is made of refined flour or maida which is not just bad for the gut but causes a significant insulin response in the body.
A single serving of Misal contains 44 grams or 176 KCAL of Carbohydrates and while some of them come from the lentils, the rest of them come from the white bread and farsan that is served with the gravy.
Just like with any unhealthy food, Fats come in at 23.6 grams or 212.4 KCAL per serving. What needs to be noted here is that the fats here come from either vegetable or palm oil that goes into preparing the gravy. Fats alone account for more than half the calories.
As always, the most important macronutrient Protein is found in the least amount at just 6.7 grams or 26.8 KCAL per serving. While the source of protein here is lentils and beans in some cases, which is an excellent source of fiber, complex carbohydrates, and protein, the amount of protein that you get per serving is negligible for the number of calories that you need to consume in a single serving.
While misal pav has almost become a staple in urban cities, especially among the working class, do keep in mind that it isn't a lean meal and if you do crave a serving of piping hot and spicy Misal pav, then you can go ahead, but save them for only a few occasions.