Wednesday 29 May 2024

Buddha Bowl

Buddha bowl is essentially a wholesome meal containing whole grain, plant proteins, vegetables, greens and nuts and/or seeds. You can top it with a sauce of your choice.  So you can customize your bowl depending on the availability of ingredients!  According to legend, Buddha would carry his food bowl through the village for the people to fill it with various type of foods. Balance is an important Buddhist concept. Hence, make sure that you prepare a balanced meal for your bowl. Let me share how I prepared my Buddha Bowl.

Ingredients: (Makes 4 bowls)

Whole grain* 

Basmati rice - 1 cup 

*You can use brown rice, hand-pounded rice, red rice, white rice, millet or quinoa instead.

Plant protein

White black eyed peas or karamani - ½ cup 

Red black eyed peas or karamani - ½ cup  

*You can used kabuli channa, sprouts, rajma, paneer, tofu etc.


Onion - 1 no, cubed

Tomato - 2 no, cubed

Ginger - ½" piece

Cashew nuts - 1 tablespoon

Kashmiri chili powder - ½ teaspoon

Mixed herbs (rosemary, oregano, basil, parsley, thyme and sage) - ½ teaspoon**

Oil - 1 tablespoon

Salt - to taste

* You can use curd dressing, tahini sauce, green chutney or any other sauce of your choice. Instead of preparing sauce separately, I had added the black eyed peas to it and made it into a gravy.

** You can use garam masala or spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, clove etc.


1. Sauteed vegetables* 

Potato - large, 2 no, cut into wedges

Carrots - 2 no, cut into sticks

Onion - 1 no, large, cut into thick slices 

Black cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon

Salt - to taste

Ground pepper - ¼ teaspoon

Oil - 1 tablespoon

* You can use French beans, capsicum, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, beetroot, yellow pumpkin etc.

2. Boiled vegetables

Green peas - ½ cup

Sweet corn kernels - ½ cup

All purpose flour - 1 teaspoon

Butter - 1 teaspoon

Milk - 100 ml

Salt - to taste

Ground pepper - ¼ teaspoon

3. Salad*

Cucumber - 2 no, cut into 3" long slices

Ground pepper - ¼ teaspoon

Red chili flakes - ¼ teaspoon

Salt - to taste

Olive oil - 2 teaspoons

Lemon juice - 2 teaspoons

* You can use zucchini, capsicum, grated carrot etc.


Balloon vine leaves (முடக்கத்தான் கீரை) - 2 cups

Salt - to taste

Oil - 1 teaspoon

Jaggery powder - 1 teaspoon**

* You may use any type of green such as spinach, palak, lettuce etc.

** Balloon wine tastes slightly bitter. Jaggery helps reduce the bitterness.

Nuts and seeds*

Black sesame seeds - 1 teaspoon

White sesame seeds - 1 teaspoon

* You may use peanuts, melon seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, almond, pistachio etc.


Whole grain

Wash basmati rice well and cook with 2 cups of water in a rice cooker. Keep aside.

Plant protein

Wash black eyed peas well and soak in sufficient water for 2 hours. Later pressure cook the peas for 5 minutes or 5 whistles.


  • Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a kadai. Add in onion cubes and sauté till they turn transparent. Allow the onion cool down.
  • Grind onion, tomato, ginger and cashew nuts into a fine paste using a mixer-grinder.
  • Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in the kadai. Add in the ground paste and Kashmiri chili powder. Cook till the sauce thickens. Now add mixed herbs and simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Add in cooked black eyed peas and required salt. Mix well. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the fire.
Sauteed vegetables
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan. Add in black cumin seeds, and when they start to crackle, place the onion slices in the pan. Cook on low flame till onion slices start to turn light brown. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Now place potato wedges and carrot sticks in the pan. Sprinkle salt and ground pepper on top. Cover and cook on low flame till the vegetables are cooked and start to turn golden brown. Switch off the heat.
Boiled vegetables
  • Boil green peas in water till they are cooked. Steam or boil sweet corn till done. Keep aside.
  • Heat 1 teaspoon of butter in the kadai. Add in all purpose flour and fry till it starts to turn light brown. Switch off the fire. 
  • Add 100 ml of warm milk and mix well to form a smooth mixture. Cook on the low flame with continuous stirring till the mixture thickens. Add required salt and ground pepper. Blend well.
  • Add in boiled green peas and sweet corn. Mix well and simmer for  a minute. Remove from fire.
Note: You can add green peas and sweet corn directly to the Buddha bowl. However, I made a small quantity of white sauce to enhance the flavor and taste.


Mix olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and red chili flakes in a bowl to form salad dressing. Add in cucumber slice and mix well. Set aside for 20-30 minutes.

  • Wash balloon vine leaves in running water well and drain. 
  • Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a kadai. Add in the leaves and sauté for 2 minutes. Add salt, jaggery powder and ¼ cup of water. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Switch off the stove.
Nuts and seeds

Dry roast sesame seeds in a kadai till they start popping. Transfer to a bowl.

Preparing the Buddha bowl

The quantity specified here makes 4 portions. Hence, use a quarter of all items to prepare one bowl. First place cooked rice in the bowl. Top it with sauce containing black-eyed peas. Surround it with sauteed vegetables, boiled vegetables in white sauce, salad and greens. Sprinkle roasted sesame seeds on top. Your Buddha bowl is ready! It is nutritive and filling.

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