Millets contributed to nearly 40 percent of all cultivated grains and were the primary cereals in central and southern India before the 1960s. However, post the Green Revolution, the government policies aided only rice and wheat production that rendered the cultivation of millets economically unviable. The popular Basmati, a fragrant and aromatic rice variety from this South Asian country, had a higher export value than regular rice. Production of wheat was so low in the post-independent era that the country had to import it to fulfil demand. The use of modern technologies and methods in the green revolution period led to the development of high yielding and rust resistant strains of wheat, which increased the crop's production and productivity, making India drastically self-sufficient.
Another integral part of the Indian diet is pulses or lentils that are high in protein content. It is the primary protein source for vegetarians as a plant-based protein, commonly consumed as dal or lentils. While the country produces lentils, due to its popularity and the rising demand, the country imported large volumes of lentils from Myanmar, Canada, and Russia.
As a mostly agrarian country, India still struggles to eradicate hunger and malnutrition today due to its increasing population. According to the Global Hunger Index, there was a serious hunger crisis in the country. The government has taken initiatives in providing nutritious free lunches on working days for children in primary and upper primary classes. The mid-day meal program mostly consists of the regional staple food that follows the nutritional guidelines for the minimum amount of food and calorie content per child. Moreover, the staple Indian diet consisting of rice, roti, dal, vegetables, or meat protein provides a balanced meal with the essential nutrients.