Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Brown rice Burrito bowl

Dear Foodies,

I cannot count the number of times I had a veggie burrito bowl from Chipotle during my Masters. The place was really close to the University, the food tasty and filling, at a good cost too. You can't beat that combo when you are looking for something quick and easy to fill you up. When it was not the burrito bowl, it was the veggie taco salad from the food court. Mexican food with its use of chilli peppers, rice and beans endears the Indian palate to it immediately. The familiarity of ingredients is what draws you in initially, but soon the flavors take over, and you realize you are hooked to it. I can love the cuisine just for their liberal use of coriander/cilantro leaves :D With the salsa's and dips you savor fruits and vegetables showcased in their freshest forms, and the rice and beans can be mixed together in various combinations that will keep you coming back for more.

A few weeks back I was craving a burrito bowl but I had a bad stomachache the last few times I order it outside. I wasn't sure what was causing it and was in no mood of experimenting on myself. So I headed to the grocery store instead and bought some ripe avocados and fragrant cilantro to make it at home. I used brown rice to make it more healthier and filling.

Brown rice Burrito Bowl
Brown Rice
  • Cook about 1-2 cups of Brown rice ( or white, if you so choose)
Tomato Salsa
  • 1 cup - ripe Tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup - Red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup - Cilantro
  • 1 tsp - Jalapeno, minced
  • 1/4 tsp - Garlic, minced
  • Salt and lemon juice to taste
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Using a spoon slightly mash the tomaotes to release their juices. Cover and set aside for about 30mins to allow the flavors to blend.
Corn & black bean salsa
  • 1 cup - Corn kernels, I used thawed, frozen corn
  • 1/2 Cup - Black beans, again a shortcut, rinsed beans from a can
  • 1/4 cup - Red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup - Cilantro
  • 1/4 tsp - roasted Cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp - Jalapeño, minced
  • Salt and lemon juice to taste
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and check for seasonings. Set aside for about 30mins to allow the flavors to blend.
Guacamole
  • 1 nos - ripe Avocado (The ripe ones are more brown in color and ever so slightly yield to pressure)
  • 1/4 cup - Red onions, diced
  • 1/2 tsp - Jalapeño, minced
  • 1/4 tsp - Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup - Cilantro, washed and roughly chopped
  • juice of one lemon
  • Salt to taste
Halve the avacado, de-seed and scoop the pulp with a spoon. Dice it into rough chunks and drizzle the lemon juice all over it to avoid discoloration. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. I mash some of the chunks with the spoon, retaining the rest. Taste and season to get the right balance.

Sautéed Bell pepper & Onions
  • 1 cup - Red onion, sliced
  • 3/4 cup - Green bell pepper, sliced length-wise
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 + 1/2 Tbsp - Olive oil
Use a skillet wide enough to hold the onions and peppers in the single layer. On medium heat, drizzle some olive oil and when hot, layer the onions and cook for 3-4 mins, toss and repeat until they start to brown and char around the edges. Salt them and set aside on a plate. Add the bell peppers next and saute until they soften and get a slight char as well. Salt and set aside.

Assembly
Once all the trimmings are done, grab a bowl and you are all set to create the burrito bowl. Add the rice first, top it with warm fajitas and the salsa's. You could also add some chopped lettuce and if you are not sticking to a vegan menu, add a dollop of sour cream. Sit back and enjoy your very Mexican delight.
Do I even need to say if I liked making and eating this dish!! It has just a Tbsp of oil used for sautéing the peppers, no cheese or sour cream and a whole grain in the form of brown rice. The rest are just an assortment of veggies, get started on your bowl soon :)

And if you have some of the salsa left and don't feel like eating a burrito bowl the next day, you do the most obvious thing, make bhel puri! :D Yes, the most perfect chaat. Heat about a tsp of oil in a pan, add some chilli powder, turmeric (for the gorgeous color) and some asafoetida. Toss in the puffed rice/murmura and roast for a few minutes to make them crisp. Combine together a spoon of pudina chutney & Maggi hot n sweet ketchup. Toss in the corn & bean salsa, tomato salsa, diced cucumber and the chutney along with the puffed rice. Garnish it with some aloo bhujia and enjoy a perfect bowl of bhel ready in minutes :) It has all the flavors you use in a traditional bhel, but in a slightly different package.

Off this goes to dear Vaishali, who is hosting 'Its a Vegan world: Mexican' this month. You can already find quite a few delicious Mexican creations springing up in the blogs. If you haven't joined the party yet, you have until the end of this month. I'll be your host next, so be sure to drop by next week :-)

35 thoughts:

Gayathri said...

real yum treat.. great job

Sonu said...

I just love ur presentation and photography! Excellent pics Priya. Which camera do u use?
How are you anyway? I am doing good. :)

Indhu said...

yummy... I love chipotle's burrito bowl.. like you said - affordable and filling for students :)
as usual, excellent pictures.. love the bhelpuri!

Pavani said...

Looks yummy. Guess what, I made the same dish for Vaishali's event. Lovely pics.

Nags said...

absolutely love your pictures and those cute wooden bowls :)

Vani said...

SO beautifully presented, Priya!

Nirmala said...

You are absolutely right! Mexican cuisine is very Indian I should say. The mexican latter looks so very colorful and inviting! And the bhel, that has actually more catch I think ;) as usual stunning pics !

Nirmala said...

Hey wooden bowl ? why not CLICK - wood ? The pics are so very nice!

Superchef said...

great clicks!! so excellent that i almost forgot to read the post and kept looking at them! :D

Soma said...

pictures are just breathtaking.. the arrangement, your style everything .

& the recipe too.. never thought of doing this at home. & I thought that one of these pics would go to CLICK!! those bowls are supercute:-)

has all the yummy things i like. will have to make this soon. send me that bhel puri Priya!

trupti s. said...

absolutely beautiful! The pictures and the recipes!

cheers,trupti
the spice who loved me

Priya said...


Gayathri, it surely was nice eating it after a long time, thank you :)

Sonu, thank you, and I am doing good too :) Tumhe bhi blog karna chahiye, to stay in touch :D I use a Canon XSi.

Indhu, the bhel puri was a surprise side effect. I was making it nearly everyday for a week :)) Thank you!

Pavani, I just saw your version and it looks yummm. Very easy to make at home also kadaa..

Nags, the moment I saw them in the store I was tempted to buy them :D Thank you :)

Priya said...


Vani, thank you soo much. I had fun taking the pics too, but I had to stop myself from gobbling up the salsas :))

Nirmala, yup, you need to make this atleast for the bhel, it was tangy and spicy from all the jalapeno's and lemon juice. and Oh, will surely send one of these to Click, I can back on your vote right ? :P

Superchef, hope you went back to look at the recipe, its soo easy that I don't want you to miss it :D thank you soo much for the feedback on the pics :)

Priya said...


Soma, bhel puri, kya ? kahan ? :P
Thank you soo much for compliments on the pics, I surprised myself with the arrangement actually :))
I never thought making it would be soo simple either. Except for the peppers & onions, almost no cooking at all. And as you can see the salsa's can easily multi task and use a common set of ingredients - garlic, jalapeno's, onions and cilantro.

Trupti, thank you soo much :) Keep visiting!

sunita said...

Now that is a real treat...beautiful burrito and bhelpuri too:-)

buss said...

i think its either the beans or the corn that cause the tummy problems. i can see how the brown rice will immediately elevate the health quotient of the burrito bowl.
i mean, besides the fact that you are the designer/architect! :-)

Priya said...


Sunita, thank you :) I am still not sure which I like more :D

buss, ...and engineer ;) okay, PJ!
hmmm, could be the corn, I did try it without the beans once, but did not zero in on the corn. Got too tired of going back home with a stomach ache after a few trials :(( up so early ?

Pallavi said...

Nice one Priya, I always get the veggie burrito bowl at Chipotle too.. :) This looks so yummy..

Anonymous said...

hi priya
excellent photos, no match!!
brown rice might cause stomach ache.may be takes time to digest,

indosungod said...

I am addicted to Chipotle! But yours are so much better looking than their ever will be. Just lovely.

Divya Vikram said...

Great recipes. Great idea of converting the salsa into bhel poori!

bee said...

super super scrumptious fantastic idea. i prefer brown rice to tortillas.

Vaishali said...

Dear Priya, what a delicious-looking burrito bowl, and all I want right now is to get my hands on it! Love that you used brown rice, and your presentation as always is impeccable. Thanks for sending it in!

Sonu said...

hmmm...I am thinking about having my own blog. :) but it will take some time to materialize. Though, I keep in touch through ur blog.
And Priya, I can't stop myself visiting ur blog again and again to see ur stunning pics.:D This burrito bowl, I never have had tried yet but now it's in my bookmark list. Your Fruit Cake Cookies is still in try-n-taste queue. :D
Take care.

Namratha said...

This is a wonderful recreation of the burrito bowl, I enjoy eating at Chipotle too. Gorgeous pics!

Pavithra Kodical said...

I am a regular visitor to Chipotle.Never tried making at home.Great post.Well presented :)

A_and_N said...

This is BRILLIANT! I'm making this soon! Yay!

Anitha said...

So colorful & nutritious burrito bowl. Beautiful pictures & presentation.

Suganya said...

Gorgeous, just gorgeous. Amen to Chipotle :)

Priya said...


Pallavi, its too good to not love :D thank you :)

Anon, thank you soo much! The store bought version does not have brown rice in it though. I use it at home and haven't had problems. Kepp visiting :)

ISG, thank you :) Everytime I pass by a Chipotle I get soo tempted to walk in and order...

Divya, hehe, it worked out so well in the bhel. With the tomato season in full swing now, bhel season has slipped right in :D

Bee, me too, I hate the smell of tortillas. And well, the tortilla wrapped burrito's were too much for me to finish off in one sitting, the bowl is perfect.

Vaishali, thank you soo much. The bowls do make the salsa look so good. I want to make some for myself looking at the pics right now :))

Priya said...


Sonu, you must try it out. Its very simple to make and flavors work fabulously together. Ditto for the fruit cake cookies too.

Namratha, Thank you :) we seem to be a pretty bunch of Chipotle fans here :D

Pavithra, do try it home and I'm sure you'll love it even more :) Chipotle and Subway were what helped my survive grad school.

A & N, woo hoo :D let me know how you like it :)

Priya said...


Anitha, thank you. Only when I was writing down the whole recipe did I see how healthy the whole thing is. It made me a much bigger fan of this recipe, if that's even possible ;-)

Suganya, AMEN! :)

veggie belly said...

bhel puri with left over salsa is a great idea!

Premyscakes said...

great shots. tempting spread.

Sophie said...

You have some amazing photos! The burrito bowls sound fresh and delicious, a great healthy Spring meal :).

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