Rainbow bento bowl

March 9, 2020 (Last Updated: March 1, 2020)

We used an old chocolate tin as a bento box.

Recipe and styling by Dashania Murugas

Photographs by Dylan Swart

Rainbow bento bowl

Serves: 4 - 6
Total Time: 50 mins



  • 200g basmati rice
  • 1 x 400ml tin coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp beetroot powder/juice
  • 500ml (2 cups) boiling water

  • 400g cooked pumpkin, mashed
  • 150g almond flour
  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

  • 1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 60ml (¼ cup) lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • ½ tsp sea salt flakes
  • 125ml (½ cup) tahini
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 120ml ice-cold water, if needed
  • 1 – 2 sheets sushi nori (seaweed), cut into portions
  • 4 – 6 whole bok choi, blanched
  • 2 – 3 limes, cut into wedges



For the purple rice, in a saucepan on medium heat, combine the basmati rice, coconut milk, beetroot powder/ juice and boiling water. Cook until the rice is done and all the liquid has been absorbed, 20 – 25 minutes.


For the sesame pumpkin balls, combine the cooked pumpkin and almond flour in a bowl. Roll the mixture into 12 bite-sized balls, then coat well with the toasted sesame seeds.


For the hummus, place the chickpeas in a medium saucepan with the bicarbonate of soda. Cover the chickpeas with water, bring to the boil on high heat and cook until the chickpeas look bloated and their skins start to fall off, 10 – 15 minutes. Drain well.


In a blender, combine the lemon juice, garlic and sea salt. Process until the garlic is very finely chopped. Add the tahini and blend to combine. Add the chickpeas, ground cumin, turmeric and olive oil and blitz until the mixture is smooth and creamy. If the hummus is too thick, slowly add the ice-cold water until you achieve the desired consistency.


To serve, assemble the purple rice, sesame pumpkin balls, turmeric hummus, nori, bok choi and lime wedges in a bowl or box.

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