Assembling a Buddha Bowl

The Buddha Bowl has become a very stylish vegetarian or vegan option on restaurant menus. Served in a bowl or high rim dish, you’ll get to enjoy a wholesome meal with a variety of textures and flavours.

We don’t quite know how this dish got its name but can make an obvious connection to Buddhism. It is the world’s 4th largest religion, founded by Siddhartha Gautama, a Hindu prince who lived during the 5th Century B.C. In early adulthood, he renounced his royal standing to become an ascetic. After achieving “nirvana” following a deep period of meditation, he arose as a new person and called himself Buddha. Part of his simple, disciplined life, required him to carry a single bowl to receive alms. He nourished himself once a day with whatever food he received in it.

The contemporary Buddha Bowl may have lost its modest roots. However, some things still hold true to the original. It can be eaten both cold or hot, and from everything we’ve seen, there is no wrong way to serve it up. To put one together, you need protein, grains, vegetables and garnishes. With a few clever colour and texture choices, you can turn your Buddha Bowl into a masterfully presented work of art.

In fact, experimenting with a variety of grain, vegetable and protein options will allow you to enjoy this dish in a completely new way, each time. It’s really hard to mess this one up! Here’s how we put ours together with Tiffinday curry stews.

Tiffinday Buddha Bowl Ingredients

Makes 1 bowl

  • Tiffinday Kidney Bean Curry Stew, or Tiffinday Chickpea Curry Stew: 1 cup
  • Cooked Basmati Rice: 1 cup
  • Shredded Cabbage: 1 cup
  • Sunflower Oil: 2 Tbsp
  • Fenugreek seeds & Mustard Seeds: A pinch of each
  • Salt & Pepper: To taste
  • Shredded Unsweetened Coconut: 1 Tbsp
  • Diced Tomatoes: 1/2 cup
  • Fresh Peas: 1/4 cup
  • Chopped Cilantro: For garnishing

Buddha Bowl Assembly / Cooking Time

Time needed: 20 minutes

  1. Protein

    Tiffinday curry stews make the protein part easy for your Buddha Bowl. If you’re not afraid of spice, then use one cup of our Kidney Bean & Rhubarb Stew. For a milder version, simply substitute it with the Chickpea Curry Stew. All you have to do is heat it up, so leave this step for last. And if you are serving your Buddha Bowl cold, then simply scoop it out!

  2. Grain

    We used one cup of cooked Basmati rice in our Buddha Bowl. It’s one of the easiest grains to cook, but the cooking time will depend on the variety of rice you use. Anyone who enjoys Sushi will know you can eat rice cold. If you want to assemble a Buddha bowl with cold rice, you should first understand how to safely cool and refrigerate rice.

    Rice grains can easily get contaminated with Baccilus Cereus, a common soil bacteria. While the cooking process kills it, the spores can survive and start to germinate between 4 and 60 degrees C, a temperature range commonly known as the “danger zone”. You should therefore refrigerate cooked rice within an hour of cooking in an airtight container. And this will keep well in your fridge for up to 3 days. Serve the rice in your cold Buddha Bowl at fridge temperature without letting it warm up to room temperature.

  3. Vegetables

    Sautéing vegetables for your Buddha Bowl is a good way to use up any vegetables you have going limp in your fridge! We assembled ours with stir-fried shredded cabbage.

    Warm 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil in a flat frying pan on medium heat and temper it with a pinch of both fenugreek and mustard seeds. When they started to pop, add a cup of shredded cabbage and stir it well so the oil covers the cabbage.

    Leave it uncovered as the cabbage will release water, which you want to burn off. This will soften and shrink the cabbage. When it is partly cooked cover it up until it becomes completely soft, and that is when you add salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, sprinkle the cabbage with a generous tablespoon of unsweetened shredded coconut. If you’d like to serve it cold, prepare this the day before and refrigerate it.

  4. Garnishes

    The sky is the limit when it comes to garnishes for a Buddha Bowl. We used diced tomatoes, peas and cilantro because that’s what we had in our fridge. But you can get quite creative here, with complimentary sauces, pesto, herbs, nuts and seeds to add a variety of colours, flavours and texture to your meal.

And voila, your meal will be ready in no time. We hope you enjoy this recipe! Bon appetit.

Seema Pabari

I am the founder and owner of Tiffinday. As a life-long vegetarian and spoiled by a mom who is a wonderful cook, I love eating and writing about delicious food.