Buddha Bowls are finally in Chennai, and here's why you've got to get your hands on one!
If you’re wondering why they call them Buddha Bowls — it’s possibly because they’re all about
‘balance’. More colours mean more food groups. Sample this rainbow of health: roasted sweet potatoes, roasted carrots, fresh shredded salad with kale and a drizzle of sour cream.
We got a taste at The English Tea Room which launched a new menu last week to celebrate their second anniversary, and gave us a preview of their Buddha Bowls, the newest category on their menu. And we have to admit, after spotting this trend on Instagram and Pinterest all of last year — we were plenty curious to try the real thing. Owner Deepa Palaniappan, on the other hand, says introducing it is more a response to groups of fitness enthusiasts who frequently ask for dishes “without grains or gluten”.
Cauliflower rice, we discover as part of our Roasted Veggies bowl (above) makes for an effective swap for rice (if you want to lower your carb count) and almost had us fooled a minute!
The three Buddha bowls on offer — the Mediterranean, Asian and the Roasted Veggie choice — are also entirely vegan as well. Although fortunately, for must-have-meat-at-a-meal folks like myself, Chef Ramesh Kumar shares, “We do offer add-ons like a fried egg or chicken satay on request.” In case your prayers for protein are often as desperado as ours often while sighting more healthy veggies that we
are used to...
A few bites in and we quickly move on to an Asian mix of sticky rice, barbeque tofu, sprouts, stir-fried vegetables and kimchi. The creamy peanut sauce that arrives in a bowl beside it, however, is the real star of the dish — upping the ante entirely. For a desi palate, some might find it to be a bit of a bland cocktail of healthy goods.
So a quick tip to help you decide which bowl you want — make sure you fancy the sauce because if you do, you can enjoy just about any vegetable!
If you’re looking for a healthy option with a little more leeway on the calorie counter, opt for the newly
introduced Savoury Millet Crêpes. Made with a batter of raagi and buckwheat flour — both very nutritious — the fillings of vegetables like broccoli and peppers allow for indulgences like cheese sauce and caramelised onions. Rs 310 plus taxes.
For those wondering how to build a DIY Buddha bowl, chef Ramesh gives us a few pointers as our final one arrives. “The hardier elements are layered at the bottom,” he tells us. In the case of our Mediterranean bowl — this means the falafel and sweet potato. The chickpeas sautéed in cayenne pepper are tossed in next, with some steaming hot quinoa beside it. More delicate slivers of carrot and cucumber, as well as lettuce for crunch, are placed on top, with a generous addition of hummus to finish.
We get hints of salty and sweet, with a mild hint of spice from those chickpeas. Heaped with myriad flavours and textures to explore — we have a single grievance. When it all comes together, the end result can be rather dry without the sauce, so we tend to overdose on it — counterproductive to what the Buddha bowl stands for, we think — a portion of everything, not too much, not too little.
Rs 310 per bowl plus taxes.
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