This easy Chickpea Buddha Bowl is packed with bold and amazingly delicious Middle Eastern flavors. Eggplant simmered with red peppers, garlic, onions, tomatoes, and fragrant spices is the perfect complement to fluffy rice, protein-rich garbanzo beans, a savory mint-cilantro chutney, and a swirl of cooling yogurt.
Why You’ll Love a Chickpea Buddha Bowl
A “Buddha Bowl,” as defined by the urban dictionary, is a food bowl packed so full that it has a rounded Buddha belly. In other words, exactly the kind of meal that makes me happy. And this chickpea Buddha bowl bursts with delicious, awesome flavors and healthy goodness in every bite. Whenever I’m having vegetarian friends over for lunch or dinner, this is my go-to recipe. If eggplant is not your personal favorite, trust me, you will fall madly in love with the healthy vegetable after making this recipe. While the mellow, refreshing, and tangy yogurt ties all the rich flavors together, you can leave it out of this deliciously healthy vegetarian dish to make a great vegan recipe.
How to Make a Chickpea Buddha Bowl
Eggplant preparation: After slicing the eggplant, sprinkle the ¼ inch pieces with salt to draw out the moisture. Pat the slices dry and place them on a baking sheet in a single layer. In two batches, brown the eggplant on both sides for 5-6 minutes under the preheated broiler. When all of the eggplant slices are cooked, while still very hot, stack them and wrap them in aluminum foil. After five minutes, open the foil carefully and peel the eggplant skin off carefully.
Eggplant sauce: Over medium heat, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Sauté the red onions for a few minutes. When softened, add the garlic and red pepper. Continue to cook for five more minutes. Increase the heat and add the eggplant, green onion, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, and seasonings. Cook for 3-4 minutes while stirring constantly. Turn off the heat and transfer the sauce to a blender or food processor. Pulse until desired consistency is reached.
Mint Chutney: In a food processor, high-speed blender, or with an immersion blender, blend all of the chutney ingredients together until smooth, adding tablespoonfuls of water if needed for the best consistency.
Yogurt sauce: To make the yogurt sauce, mix 1/2 cup of yogurt with 1 tablespoon of chutney.
Serve the eggplant and pepper sauce and chutney over rice and chickpeas.
More Delicious Vegetarian Recipes
- Vegetarian Enchiladas
- Tomato Baked Vegetarian Beans with Tangy Feta
- Vegetarian Butternut Squash Black Bean Soup
- Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe with Quinoa
- Vegetarian Butternut Squash Chili
If you try making this Chickpea Buddha Bowl Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
Chickpea Buddha Bowl
Eggplant and Red Pepper Sauce:
- 2 medium eggplants
- olive oil
- nonstick cooking spray
- 1 large red onion - finely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic - minced
- 2 red bell peppers - seeded and finely chopped
- 3 green onions - chopped
- 2-3 tablespoon tomato paste
- 15 oz diced tomatoes - one 15 oz can
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes - more or less depending on how much heat you like
- salt + pepper - to taste
Mint + Cilantro Chutney:
- ½ cup fresh mint - packed
- ½ cup fresh cilantro - packed
- 1 green onion - chopped
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger - peeled and sliced
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey - or sweetener or choice
- salt - to taste
- 2 cups cooked rice of choice - I used a rice medley from Trader Joe’s
- 14 oz garbanzo beans - one 14 oz can, drained and rinsed
- Plain low-fat yogurt
- Preheat your broiler. Wash eggplant and slice into rounds that are approximately 1/4-inch thick. On a large work surface spread out paper towels and lay out sliced eggplant rounds in an even layer. Sprinkle with salt and allow the eggplant to sit for approximately 15 minutes to draw out moisture. When time is up, wipe excess liquid and salt with a paper towel.
- Meanwhile, line a large baking sheet (I needed 2) with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Cover with a single layer of sliced eggplant and broil each side for approximately 5-6 minutes or until the eggplant starts to brown. When first sheet of eggplant is finished, put in second sheet and repeat the same process.
- When done, stack the eggplant rounds on top of each other (like a tower) and wrap them with foil. Allow eggplant tower packets to sit for at least 5 minutes or so. Open the foil and carefully (it will be hot!) peel off the eggplant skin. The skin should come off quite easily.
- Over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive in a large sauté pan. Add the red onions and sauté for a few minutes until they start to soften, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and red pepper to the pan and mix well. Continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and add remaining ingredients to the pan: eggplant, green onion, tomato paste, diced tomatoes and juice, paprika, cumin and salt and pepper. Mix well. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly, before turning off heat and transferring sauce to a blender or food processor. Pulse eggplant mixture until desired consistency is reached. Set aside.
- In a food processor or high-speed blender prepare the chutney. Add all ingredients and blend until smooth; if you find that it is difficult to blend, add small amounts of water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Season to taste.
- Prepare chutney by blending all ingredients with and immersion blender or food processor until smooth. If you find the ingredients are difficult to blend, add water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, to thin out sauce. You may need to adjust the seasonings. To make the yogurt sauce, mix 1/2 cup yogurt with 1 tablespoon of the chutney.
- Serve eggplant and pepper sauce and chutney over rice and chickpeas.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)
If you are making this recipe, make sure there is enough eggplant. I used two but they must have been too small so it more just tastes like a tomato sauce. I didn’t like how the tomato garlic and onion flavours dominated when I made it. Also the eggplant peel removing trick only worked for about ⅓ of the eggplants slices. Overall it tastes nice with the chutney and yogurt and beans/rice.
The Steaming Pot says
This looks gorgeous, with the various ingredients so beautifully arranged in the bowl <3
Jessica Randhawa says
Thank you 🙂