The healthy substitute

The healthy substitute

Down foodpath

Meditteranean bowl

A couple of years ago, my husband and I decided to adopt a healthier lifestyle. While it sounded like the right thing to do, like many others, we found that salads seemed to be the only option for us after that. But there has to be something more, we thought to ourselves. 

We soon realised that there are more people like us who are looking for healthier options that are also somewhat interesting.

That’s when we decided to leave our full-time jobs and start ‘PurpleBasil’, a healthy food delivery startup.

Neither of us has any experience in the culinary industry. The only qualification we possess is that we are foodies. I’ve always loved experimenting with recipes and locally available ingredients.

We tied up with food consultants and nutritionists to help us understand which dish would work best and why. Our inputs, from a customer’s point of view, helped as well. 

Not many realise healthy food isn’t just about counting calories but knowing which protein and carb is required for your body type. There are certain things that you must consume and others that you can avoid. At the end of the day, it’s all about balance.

Like anyone else, I have days when I feel like indulging in a cheesy and juicy burger. I try my best not to let that craving kick in but when I know I can’t contain it anymore, my husband and I head out to have that burger.

When it comes to desserts, there are guilt-free options that are so good that you don’t notice the lack of butter and sugar. For me, oats cookies is that dessert. 

Today’s recipe, the ‘Meditteranean bowl’, is a dish that is available at PurpleBasil. To us, it’s the best of both worlds — Meditteranean flavour suitable for an Indian palate.

Most of our customers are well-travelled and often wish to have something similar when they come back home.

So we came up with a bowl option that would have everything you need, with healthy substitutes. We’ve used brown rice instead of bread, baked the falafel and used pickled vegetables to make it tastier. 


Meditteranean bowl


Brown rice – 80 gm
Boneless chicken (breast) – 100 gm
Chickpeas – 125 gm
Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Harissa paste – 1 tsp
Shawarma powder – 10 gm
Salt, pepper, chilli powder, cumin – to taste
Olive oil – 25 ml
Lemon – 2 wedges
Onion – 10 gm
Garlic – 2 cloves
Red bell pepper – 10 gm
Water – 100 ml
Vinegar – 100 ml
Sugar syrup diluted – 50 ml
Parsley – 10 gm
Nigella seeds – 10 gm
Tomato puree – 250 gm


  • Mix water, vinegar, and sugar together to make a pickle-liquid. Add veggies of your choice – radish, carrot, beetroot and 
  • onion work best. Make this a day in advance.
  • Add chicken, garlic paste, chilli powder, salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon, and shawarma powder in a bowl. Mix well and marinate for 30 minutes.
  • Grill them on a grill pan after brushing some olive oil. Leave aside.
  • Boil brown rice. Season with salt and pepper. Leave aside.
  • Add cooked chickpeas and harissa paste to a pan, saute them well. Leave aside.
  • Mix cooked chickpeas, chopped onion, chopped garlic, parsley, pepper, salt, cumin, nigella and olive oil. Squeeze lemon. Grind them coarsely in a mixer.
  • Make medium size patties of the coarse mixture and bake in OTG at 190 degree celsius.
  • Add garlic and onion to a heated pan and saute well.
  • Add red bell pepper slices and saute some more. Add tomato puree and dry spices.
  • Assemble in a bowl, with the red rice at the base, and the rest of the ingredients stacked on top.
  • Garnish with black olives and parsley.