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Vij's: Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine Paperback – September 7, 2006
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"Admit it. You get cravings for Indian food. But it's time to look beyond takeout standards like butter chicken. These days, Indian-inspired menus mix and match cultures and tastes. Invite friends for a buffet full of flavour and spicy aromas, and rent a Bollywood movie. Go Indian -- it's a memorable way to entertain." (Style at Home Magazine 2007-03-01)
"From the twin kitchens of their wildly successful restaurants, Vij's and Rangoli, and now in the pages of their cookbook Vij's: Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine, Vikram Vij and Meeru Dhalwala have changed the way we experience Indian food." (Eat Magazine 2007-05-30)
"[The recipes are] made all the easier by clear instructions and an excellent introductory section called 'In the Indian Kitchen' that elucidates both technique and ingredients." (Focus Magazine 2007-07-01)
About the Author
Meeru Dhalwala was born in India but moved to Washington, D.C., at a young age. Prior to moving to Canada, she worked on human rights and international development projects. She and Vikram live in Vancouver.
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Top Customer Reviews
Anyways, I couldn't resist the temptation to try. My first effort was a cilantro-mint chicken curry. I must say it was incredible. The whole house smelled amazing while I was cooking. I invited my parents over to try the results and they couldn't stop commenting on how delicious the dish was.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes Indian food and wants to try preparing it for themselves, or would like to add a few incredible recipes to their repertoire.
One warning - the recpie for "Goat or Lamb Curry" on pg. 80 calles for WAY TOO MUCH salt (2 TABLEspoons)!! Cut that in half or less when you make it. This must have been a misprint - maybe they meant 2 TEAspoons? Even that would be a lot. There is no way that much salt in correct, but I followed the recipe. If you could ignore the salt, the taste of the (lamb) curry was delicious.
I have also made one of the rice and cauliflower dishes - that was good, but then I like the taste of cumin.
The one I am really looking forward to making is the short-ribs dish. Vij told me that in the restaurant they cook the ribs at 200 degrees for something like 6 HOURS. The book calls for a more moderate time, like 3 hours. I'm sure it will be delicious.
The book is well-written with lots of pictures and clear concise instructions. I recommend keeping a good stock of fresh spices (especially Cumin, Coriander and black mustard seeds) before cooking with this book. I first read about this restaurant in the NYT last year and have been looking for a book since then. I am not the slightest bit disappointed.
Because of the clear instructions and illustrations, I am now making my own paneer (cheese) at home. It's far superior to anything available in the stores and is much cheaper (less than $2 a pound if you get milk on sale).
I originally hesitated to buy this book because I'm vegetarian and many of the recipes are for meat and seafood, but I'm very glad I got it. The non vegetarian recipes can often easily be adapted for meatless use. And there are quite a few meatless recipes.
There are some editorial anomalies. For example in the recipe titled "Sautéed Arugula and Spinach with Paneer and Roasted Cashews," the arugula and spinach is in fact never sautéed. It is added to the liquid curry at the very end and cooked until wilted and heated through. Go figure. (Great recipe by the way, but reduce water to one cup from three.)
I also found that the authors tend to use more liquid than I would. If you are an experienced cook and you feel that a recipe calls for too much liquid, trust your instinct and go with less to start with. You can always add additional if you need it. The only time this was a problem for me was when I made a lentil rice pilaf, using the quantity called for - it was one of the first recipes I made. There was so much liquid I had to cook it down much longer than I would have liked and the result was mushy. The flavor, however, was superb.Read more ›
One think I really like about this book: Paradoxically, their recipe for garam masala is a very usable blend that is very predominantly cumin seed, so it's not as wild-and-crazy shahi/restaurant-style a taste, but rather it lends itself to more liberal use and for a final product that is more reminiscent of homestyle flavors.
Certainly this book fills a niche, and it is nice. It's just not the most home-cook-useful book I've ever used. I'm glad I have it, but I don't find myself relying on it often. I say this as one who has never had the opportunity to experience the Vij restaurants--I'm just examining the book on it's own merits. My 2 cents... hope it helps someone!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What great recipes! The lamb popsicles are a must! This cookbook isn't for the chef who wants to be in a and out of the kitchen in an hour however. Read morePublished 9 months ago by coravd
Unlike many other reviewers, I have not had the pleasure of dining in the restaurant in Vancouver from which the recipes in this book come. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Violetta
We have eaten at Viji's Vancouver and LOVE it. My husband likes to try new recipes, much to my delight; he is very happy with this cook book and will happily buy the next one.Published 12 months ago by Scottish Lass
The flavors are really very nice and they modernize and Westernize Indian cuisine fairly intelligently, but the book was sent to press a bit prematurely I think. Read morePublished 12 months ago by peederj
So happy I could get this for my friends. We all ate at Shanik's and have wonderful memories. Looking forward to more!Published 21 months ago by Vicky Dean Swart
Excellent. We've only had it a month and already made many delicious recipes, including a couple of lamb curries, a chicken curry, a chickpea curry, a mango tomato curry, a potato... Read morePublished on October 4, 2013 by Settled In Seattle
It's a lovely book, well-edited, and the recipes are easy to follow. I made Vij's black chickpea curry this weekend and it just might be the best curry I've ever made at home, and... Read morePublished on July 29, 2013 by Theodore C. Bale
This restaurant and book were recommended to me by a friend. While I live about 3-1/2 hours from Vancouver, I haven't been able to make it up to the restaurant yet. Read morePublished on July 5, 2013 by AEGen