I'm not South Asian, but I've been working in Malawi for 15 years with sustainable nutrition systems. You are so right that there is too much focus on the carbohydrate without considering the other nutrients. Not just in food assistance, but in food security / food systems as a whole.
I've seen a couple of interesting approaches to food aid that need more attention, one being http://www.ontariogleaners.org/
They dry and package all sorts of foods - grains, starchy roots, vegetables, legumes, nuts, oil seeds. Then separately they do dried fruits.
Some of the orphan care centres here have them, and they are yummy, too!
This could be an approach that also takes care of the 30-40% of food waste that we read all too often. I bet food drying and processing systems could be set up locally throughout nations to reduce transport. Any leftovers from processing could go into animals, fish, worm farms, composting and back into local food systems.
Our food assistance systems really could become an integral part of our our overall healthy, sustainable food system.
Stacia Nordin, RD
The FSN Forum is supported by the project Coherent food security responses: incorporating right to food into global and regional food security initiatives.