Curry Chickpea Bowl with Black Rice

A light curried chickpea buddha bowl featuring black rice and pickled radish with herbs.

curry chickpea nourish bowl with black rice

If you're looking for a healthy, warm and comforting take on a buddha bowl (slash nourish bowl slash rainbow bowl or whatever you want to call it) this is your recipe. A balanced buddha bowl has a nutritious blend of vegetables, a wholesome grain and typically a vegetarian protein. Although, full transparency, I used chicken stock with the chickpeas. It's delicious and the secret to making these curried chickpeas a bit healthier. More importantly, I refer you back to the "it's delicious" statement. 

I like to think of this recipe as take out meets Whole Foods bar. It's not just grains and protein (take out) and it's not just vegetable sides. It's a solid mix with different flavors and textures. Warm and cool. Crunchy and soft. 

Beyond the herbs in this recipe, you likely already have a lot of this in your pantry. Canned chickpeas, rice (not necessarily black rice although it does have health benefits I'll mention in a moment), vinegar, curry powder and coconut milk. Your grocery list will be pretty short for this recipe. Even shorter if you have an herb garden.

curry chickpea nourish bowl with black rice
curry chickpea nourish bowl with black rice
curry chickpea nourish bowl with black rice

Let's talk about this black rice for a second. You are not required to have black rice for this recipe but it does have specific nutrition benefits. You could also use a brown rice or a rice blend (I'm partial to Seeds of Change quinoa and rice blend myself). But if you want to try something new, I like the black rice. 

Black rice is also known as “forbidden rice”, was a delicacy and difficult to acquire. It had low yield and was expensive, therefore the wealthiest were the only ones who could afford it. From a nutrition perspective the big deal is the antioxidants. We're specifically talking about anthocyanin or the dark pigments in the rice (like in blueberries).

curry chickpea nourish bowl with black rice
curry chickpea nourish bowl with black rice

Curry Chickpea Buddha Bowl


  • 1 cup dry black rice
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1, 15 oz can rinsed chickpeas
  • 2 Tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil 
  • 1 Tablespoon madras curry powder
  • 1/3 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced baby cucumber and radish rounds
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup white distilled vinegar
  • fresh dill
  • fresh mint


  1. Cook 1 cup dry rice to package directions (add a pinch of kosher salt to the pot).
  2. As the rice is cooking, rinse and drain chickpeas. Add to a bowl and sprinkle cornstarch over top. Toss to combine. 
  3. Heat a large pan on the stove over medium high. Add canola oil. Once oil is hot (test with a chickpea), add chickpeas in two batches to the pan to brown, stirring occasionally. Chickpeas are done when golden brown. Cook second batch of chickpeas. Return first batch of chickpeas to the same pan.
  4. Sprinkle curry powder over chickpeas. Add broth and coconut milk to pan. Stir to coat and combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove from stove top.
  5. To prepare salad, use a mandolin (we use this mandolin) or thinly slice cucumber and radishes. 
  6. In a small bowl, whisk sugar, salt and pepper and vinegar together. Add vegetables to the bowl and toss to combine. Add a few sprigs of dill and chopped fresh mint. 
  7. To serve, add rice, chickpeas and salad to a bowl. Top with additional herbs and a sprinkle of salt. 
curry chickpea buddha bowl

Dietitian Nutritionist and cookbook author sharing flavor-forward recipes and simplified science-driven wellness.