Simple roasted veggies, rice, and chickpeas simmered a flavorful coconut curry sauce make this coconut curry rice bowl nutritious and downright delicious. Gluten-free and vegan.
These chickpea coconut curry bowls are nutritious and flavor-packed. Loaded with roasted veggies and doused in a coconut curry sauce, this recipe is great for meal prep or dinner.
Sometimes the best recipes are the most simple ones.
The other day I wanted to make a fuss-free vegetarian grain bowl for dinner. I searched around my kitchen to see what I could whip together, and out came this new favorite.
This rice-based grain bowl is made with roasted eggplant, sweet potatoes, and red bell pepper.
The sweetness of the roasted sweet potato and bell pepper combined with roasted eggplant is surprisingly delicious!
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- Sweet potato
- Eggplant (it's great even when its not breaded like in this pasta bake)
- Red bell pepper
- Basmati rice
- Coconut curry sauce (similar to the base of my coconut curry recipe)
Let's talk about the most important part of this recipe: coconut curry sauce.
Curry seasonings like garam masala and curry powder are combined with full-fat coconut milk for a creamy and flavorful sauce. I recommend using full-fat coconut milk instead of reduced-fat coconut milk because it is much creamier.
Combine with curry powder and cumin for a simple but flavorful sauce. You can choose mild or hot curry powder depending on your preferred spice level.
The star of these bowls is truly the roasted eggplant (aka aubergines).
Though often called a vegetable, eggplants are actually a fruit because they grow from a flowering plant and contain seeds.
This low-calorie fruit is a member of the nightshade family, along with bell peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes.
At 3 grams of fiber per cup, eggplants contain a good amount of fiber. They also provide a variety of vitamins and minerals like manganese, folate and potassium.
You'll love how easy it is to make this bowl. All you have to do is:
- Prepare 2 cups of basmati rice using your preferred method: rice cooker (this is the brand that I used before getting an Instant Pot), stovetop, or electric pressure cooker (my go-to method is using my Instant Pot).
- Slice the veggies using a sharp knife, toss in a bit of oil, salt & pepper, then roast for 25-30 minutes (flip halfway through the cook time).
- While the veggies are roasting, prepare the coconut curry sauce by combining spices and coconut milk in a saucepan.
- Simmer chickpeas in the coconut curry sauce. This gives the canned chickpeas a great flavor. Mix in fresh spinach just before serving.
For meal prep, divide each component between four containers (these are my favorite storage containers).
You can also mix everything together and save it in one large container. Both options result in a very tasty end result.
Coconut Curry Rice Bowls with Roasted Vegetables
- 2 cups cooked basmati rice see notes
- 1 pound sweet potato cut into ½" pieces
- 1 pound eggplant cut into 1" slices then quartered
- 1 medium red bell pepper cut into 1" squares
- 1 tablespoon neutral cooking oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 cups spinach (about 4 ounces uncooked spinach)
- 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 4 lime wedges for garnish (optional)
- fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- With a sharp knife, prepare the eggplant, red bell pepper, and sweet potato. The sweet potato should be half the size of the eggplant and bell pepper. See blog post for reference sizes.
- In a large bowl, toss eggplant, red bell pepper, and sweet potato with 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Layer evenly on a large baking sheet. Try to keep the vegetables in a single layer.
- Roast vegetables for 15 minutes at 425 degrees F. Remove from oven and stir the vegetables. Roast for another 10-15 minutes, until sweet potatoes are cooked through.
- While the vegetables are cooking, prepare the coconut sauce. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add garlic and ginger. Saute until golden brown and aromatic, about one minute.
- Add the curry powder, garam masala, cumin and salt to the saucepan. Slowly whisk in the full-fat coconut milk. Add the canned chickpeas (make sure to drain the chickpea liquid first). Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming. Simmer uncovered until creamy and thickened, about 15 minutes. The sauce should be ready when the roasted vegetables are done. Stir in fresh spinach just before serving.
- To make one bowl: Add ¾ cup rice, ¼ of the roasted vegetables and ¼ of the chickpeas and coconut sauce. Serve with a lime wedge and fresh cilantro.
- 1 cup dry white rice generally yields 3 cups of cooked rice. For two cups you will need about ⅔ cup dry rice.
- Any rice will work in this recipe, but I prefer the texture of basmati rice in grain bowls. To prepare the basmati rice, use an electric pressure cooker, stove-top method, or rice cooker (refer to rice cooker manual).
- Reduced fat coconut milk will yield a less creamy coconut sauce. I recommend using full-fat coconut milk for best results.