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Vij's Spice Advice

SEPTEMBER 17TH, 2010

Vij's Spice Advice

Their contemporary Indian cuisine continues to elicit eulogy, and now the dynamic duo behind Vij’s and Rangoli restaurants, Vikram Vij and Meeru Dhalwala, have penned a second cookbook, Vij’s At Home: Relax, Honey. We sat down with them in hopes of squeezing out some secrets.

Who’s the better cook?
Vikram Vij: I am.
Meeru Dhalwala: Personally, I think I am. But Vikram loves meats and I do believe he is a better cook of meats.
VV: And vegetables.
MD: No way. Absolutely not. Your strength is meats. Mine is the vegetarian.
VV: Let’s just say that I am the better cook.

What’s your favourite place to eat in Vancouver right now?
MD: Home, when Vikram is cooking for me, because he’s such a good cook [she says cheekily].

Meeru, you sing the praises of goat meat as the leanest of all meats, do you cook it at home and who’s your source?
MD: He loves cooking goat meat at home.
VV: I do. It’s my meat of choice. On Granville Island, Tenderland Meats has goat meat.
MD: A lot of the ethnic markets do too.

What’s your favourite dish from the book?
MD: Right this very minute, the Rapini and Shiitake Mushroom Curry. Probably because it’s September right now and it’s a very fall tasting curry.

What key ingredients do you work with when cooking at home?
MD: The basics are tomatoes, onions, garlic and butter. From the spice point of view, for me it would be turmeric, cumin, some cayenne pepper, because I like a hint of spice in the food, and coriander.
VV: For me the basic ingredient is alcohol in the cupboard, because after you’ve had a couple glasses of wine, everything else flows very easily.

What’s the key ingredient to a long, happy life?
MD: Eating a good meal and eating it together.

Read and watch more of our interview on today's Editors’ Diary.
Vij’s At Home: Relax, Honey ($35) at Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks, 1740 W. Second Ave., Vancouver, 604-688-6755, www.bookstocooks.com

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