In turbulent times like these when our peace of mind is challenged, finding gratitude is difficult, but essential. Gratitude to be alive and doing well amidst a pandemic helps us put all other things in perspective. To be more kind, complain less and find more opportunities to be grateful is what I seek to do more of this year.

During such times it gets even more vital to take care of ourselves, be more meditative, mindful and eat healthily. Nourish bowls are fun to put together, ensure we eat a good variety of healthy foods, help with portion control and are delicious. So much so that they’re getting to be a favourite at our home lately.

Making a vegetarian nourish bowl

To start with, it should contain carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats and definitely needs to be flavourful to ensure one doesn’t gulp it down like medicine but enjoys it like a meal to be savoured. It can be eaten warm or cold, depending on the weather and your personal preference. And what’s the best is it’s so versatile that you can build your bowl to your liking and the options available are literally endless.

Here’s a rough guideline on what it usually contains:

  • A lot of mixed veggies, either raw, steamed, sautéed, baked
  • Greens, microgreens, sprouts
  • Whole grains (preferably)
  • Protein-rich sources such as lentils, legumes, beans, soya-based (tofu, tempeh, edamame, soya chunks or granules), quinoa, nutritional yeast, paneer, yoghurt
  • Healthy fat sources such as seeds and nuts, avocado, tahini, olive oil
  • Flavorful add-ons such as lemon juice, fermented veggies, salad dressing, seasoning.

A visual guide for assembling your bowl is about one-quarter of the bowl for the grain, one quarter for the protein sources, the remaining half bowl for veggies, greens, healthy fat sources and the flavourful add-ons on the top.

I chose to make a few nourish bowls with Indian food and flavours, as this cuisine is close to my heart.

Nourish Bowl 1

  • Peanut chawal (alternatively plain steamed rice);
  • Mung bean sprouts salad;
  • Tangy garlicky zucchini;
  • De-constructed raita consisting of –
  • Sliced cucumber,
  • Sliced red radish,
  • Baby spinach leaves,
  • A spiced yoghurt sauce; and
  • Lemon wedges for garnish.


Nourish bowl 1


Peanut chawal recipe

Ingredients for the peanut masala

  • 3 tbsp raw peanuts
  • 1 tbsp grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp urad dal
  • 1 tbsp chana dal
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 red dried chilly (according to your preference).

To prepare the masala

  1. Add in the oil in a pan. On a low heat, roast all ingredients other than the grated coconut until the peanuts are cooked through (approximately 5 minutes)
  2. Add in the grated coconut and cook for another two minutes
  3. Cool the mix to room temperature and pulse grind (without using any water) to a slightly coarse or fine mixture, according to your preference

Other ingredients for peanut chawal

  • 1 cup cooked rice cooled to room temperature (approximately 1/3 cup rice per person)
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • A few curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 dried chilli broken into bits
  • A pinch of asafoetida
  • Salt to taste
  • Roasted peanuts to garnish

Now to prepare the rice

  1. In a hot wok, add in the oil followed by the mustard seeds, dried red chilli, curry leaves and asafoetida.
  2. As soon as the mustard seeds start spluttering, add in the onion and a pinch of salt and stir until the onion turns translucent and soft.
  3. Add in the peanut masala and stir.
  4. On a low flame add in the cooked rice, salt and mix well until combined. Switch off the flame, garnish with roasted peanuts and it’s ready to serve.

Mung/moong bean sprouts salad recipe

Ingredients are

  • 1/2 cup moong bean sprouts (steamed for 3 minutes in a pressure cooker) or raw, as preferred
  • 1/4 cup grated coconut
  • For the tempering: 1tsp cooking oil, 1 green chilly cut into small pieces, 1/4 tsp mustard seeds, 1/4 tsp cumin seeds, a pinch of asafoetida, a few curry leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • Lemon juice as preferred.


  1. If the mung bean sprouts are steamed, let them cool to room temperature.
  2. Then, in a small pan, pour in some oil and heat it. Add in all the ingredients for tempering. Cook until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Shut off the burner and add to the sprouts.
  3. Mix the rest of the ingredients in and it’s ready to serve.

Tangy garlicky zucchini recipe


  • 1 large or 2 small Zucchini cut into cubes,
  • A pinch of asafoetida,
  • 2 tsp cooking oil,
  • 1/2 tsp chilly powder or to taste,
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder,
  • 5 cloves garlic smashed,
  • 1/2 tsp tamarind paste,
  • Salt to taste.


  1. In a hot pan, put in the cooking oil. Add in the smashed garlic and asafoetida and sauté till the garlic is a bit browned and cooked.
  2. Add in the turmeric and chilly powder and stir.
  3. Add the zucchini cubes, salt and stir. Keep covered until the zucchini is cooked but not mushy.
  4. Mix in the tamarind paste, adjust salt and it’s ready to stir.

Spiced yoghurt sauce recipe

Ingredients (use about 1/4th cup yoghurt per person)

  • 1/4th cup full-fat organic yoghurt or greek yoghurt, (alternatively a plant-based yoghurt for vegans)
  • Salt to taste
  • A pinch of chilly powder
  • 1/4th tsp chaat masala powder
  • 1/4th tsp cumin seed powder


  1. Whisk the yoghurt for a minute until nice and smooth and then stir in the spices to make the sauce.

Nourish Bowl 2

  • Peanut chawal;
  • Scrambled paneer (use tofu for vegans);
  • Baby salad leaves;
  • Mung sprouts;
  • A de-constructed raita consisting of
  • Cucumber cubes,
  • Tomato wedges,
  • Beetroot cubes,
  • A spiced yoghurt sauce; and
  • Onion rings for garnish.

You can refer to the recipes above for the peanut chawal and the spiced yoghurt sauce.



Nourish bowl 2



Scrambled paneer recipe


  • 1 block of paneer, crumbled (250 grams)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large tomato, diced;
  • 1 green chilly, sliced (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp chilly powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp black pepper powder
  • ½ tsp cumin seed powder
  • ½ tsp chaat masala
  • Salt to taste


  1. Heat a wok on medium-high heat, add in the cooking oil followed by the cumin seeds.
  2. When the cumin seeds sizzle, add in the sliced green chillies and diced onion and stir.
  3. Once the onions turn translucent, add in the diced tomatoes and stir. Cover and let the tomatoes cook until soft.
  4. Add in all the spices and stir. Follow it up with the crumbled paneer and mix it well.
  5. Adjust the seasoning to taste and it’s ready to serve.

Nourish Bowl 3

  1. Rice and sprouts cutlets (alternatively simple rice and vegetable pulao),
  2. Kidney bean curry,
  3. Tandoori cauliflorets,
  4. Carrot strips,
  5. Sliced onion (drizzled with lemon juice),
  6. Pomegranate seeds, and
  7. A dollop of yoghurt.



Nourish bowl 3



Rice and sprouts cutlets recipe


  • 2 cups cooked rice, cooled to room temperature
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 1 chilli finely sliced
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil to shallow fry the cutlets


  1. Mash the rice with a potato masher to a coarse paste.
  2. Blend the mung bean sprouts to a coarse paste without the use of any water.
  3. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Keep the pan on medium heat.
  4. Grease your hands with little oil and shape the mixture into equal-sized small patties.
  5. Put oil in the pan and shallow fry the cutlets to a light brown colour.

Kidney bean curry recipe


  • 2 cups of kidney beans (soaked overnight and pressure cooked or out of a tin, drained and washed)
  • 2 tsp cooking oil
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 large tomato chopped or 1/3 cup of tomato passata
  • 1 tsp of finely grated ginger (about an inch piece of ginger)
  • 1 tsp of minced garlic (about 4 cloves of garlic)
  • ½ tsp of chilli powder
  • 1 tsp of coriander seed powder
  • ½ tsp of cumin seed powder
  • ½ tsp of garam masala
  • Coriander leaves to garnish
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream (or soya-based or coconut cream),
  • Salt to taste


  1. Switch a wok on medium-high heat, add in the cooking oil followed by the cumin seeds.
  2. When the cumin seeds sizzle, add in the chopped onion and sautè for a minute.
  3. Add in the grated ginger and minced garlic and stir until cooked.
  4. Once the onions turn translucent, add in the chopped tomato or passata and cover and cook until mushy (about 2-3 minutes).
  5. Add in the dry spice powders and salt to taste and mix well. Cook the spices for another 2 minutes.
  6. Add in the cooked kidney beans, mix well and add in the water or the cooking liquid from the kidney beans. Let it simmer covered for about 5 minutes.
  7. Add in the heavy cream and stir.
  8. Switch off the flame and add in the coriander leaves. It’s now ready to serve.

Tandoori Cauli florets

Ingredients for marinade

  • 3-4 tbsp full-fat yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • ½ tsp grated ginger or ¼ tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp grated garlic or ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp tandoori masala
  • 1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Other ingredients:
  • Florets cut, washed and drained from a small head of cauliflower


  1. Preheat the oven on fan mode at 200 degrees centigrade.
  2. Coat the cauliflower florets with the marinade and line on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on your oven and the last 2 minutes with the grill mode on.
  4. Check for doneness by cutting one floret. The knife should go through very easily. Then, it’s perfect to serve.

Here are my nourish bowls, ready to devour. Hope you enjoy assembling yours!

Disclaimer: Opinions and methods expressed are solely of the writer. Namaste Switzerland does not undertake any obligation or liability which may arise from the content.