PICTURED:  Buddha Bowls,  by Hannah Pemberton, Ebury Publishing, $21.99.

PICTURED: Buddha Bowls, by Hannah Pemberton, Ebury Publishing, $21.99.

Simply put, a Buddha Bowl is a bowl bursting with ingredients, so that it resembles the overstuffed belly of Buddha, explains the introduction. Seeing as how that is the Chinese Buddha, and there are other depictions of Buddha as a lean ascetic, one is not sure how this works, but that aside, the bowls that combine grain plus greens plus protein promise nourishment and dollops of taste with the recipes for dressings that are included. These recipes are from the book Buddha Bowls by Hannah Pemberton. 


4 tbsp full-fat natural yoghurt

2 tbsp tandoori paste

225 gm block paneer, diced

Vegetable oil

200 g cooked farro, cooled

1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

A handful of fresh spinach

2 tbsp roasted, chopped nuts  such as peanuts, cashews or almonds

For the salad:

½ red pepper, diced

½ yellow pepper, diced

½ cucumber, deseeded and diced

¼ red onion, peeled and finely diced

Juice of ½ lemon, plus extra to serve

50 ml extra-virgin olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper

For the cucumber labneh:

100 ml labneh or Greek yoghurt

½ cucumber, deseeded and diced

Juice of ½ lemon or lime

Mix together the yoghurt and tandoori paste in a bowl and coat the paneer, then leave it to marinate for at least 2 hours or up to 1 day. To make the salad, mix the peppers, cucumbers, red onion, lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil in a bowl. Add sea salt and pepper to taste and set aside. To make the cucumber labneh, mix the labneh or Greek yoghurt, cucumber and lemon or lime juice in a bowl and set aside in the fridge. Preheat the grill to its highest heat.

Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly oil, then place the marinated paneer pieces on the foil and grill under high heat for about 20 minutes, turning the pieces occasionally when the edges start to really colour up. Mix the farro and coriander and place it with the spinach in a serving bowl, followed by the chopped salad, the hot paneer, cucumber labneh and toasted nuts.

Give the paneer a good squeeze of lemon before tucking in. 


200 g sweet potato, diced

Olive oil

1 red pepper, diced

1 green pepper, diced

½ tsp smoked paprika

Sea salt

White wine vinegar

1 egg (can be swapped with kidney beans)

100 g cooked brown rice, still warm

Avocado Lime Crema

A handful of fresh coriander  leaves

1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Chilli sauce such as Sriracha, to serve

Preheat the oven to 190° C.

Boil the sweet potato for 7 minutes, then allow it to cool.

Lightly oil a roasting dish and add the diced sweet potatoes to one half of the pan and the pepper to the other.

Lightly drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle the potatoes with smoked paprika and sea salt. Bake for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Towards end of cooking, heat a pan of water, add a pinch of sea salt and a splash of white wine vinegar.

When it’s at a roiling boil, crack the egg into the water and cook for 2 minutes for a soft-poached egg, then remove with a slotted spoon and place on kitchen paper to drain.

Remove the peppers and potato from the oven. Set the peppers aside and mix the brown rice and sweet potato.

Pile the potato and rice into a bowl with the roasted peppers and top with the poached egg, avocado lime crema, coriander and sesame seeds. Serve with chilli sauce on the side.


2 avocados, peeled, stoned  and diced

2 tbsp sour cream or a non-dairy alternative

Juice of 1 lime

A scrunch  of sea salt

Blitz all the ingredients in a blender until really smooth – this can take a couple of minutes. Store in the fridge until needed.


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