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Vij's Spice Advice


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,