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Vij's Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine Paperback – Aug 22 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 203 pages
  • Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre; 1 edition (Aug. 22 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1553651847
  • ISBN-13: 978-1553651840
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 1.6 x 29.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 794 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #44,935 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Filled with incredible recipes, creative, thoughtful technique, and delightful stories, Vij's invites the home cook into the bustling kitchen of what has been called one of the finest Indian restaurants in the world." (Cookbook Digest 2007-02-01)

"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

Vikram Vij was born in India and grew up in Amritsar and Mumbai. He studied hotel management in Salzburg, Austria, before moving to Canada to work at the Banff Springs Hotel. He opened the original 14-seat Vij's Restaurant in Vancouver in 1994.

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.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Owners of Vij's in Vancouver; Vikram Vij and his wife, Meeru Dhalwala, have put together a fantastic reference for Indian Cuisine.

The book starts with a detailed explanation of, and some colloquial terms for, the Indian spices and ingredients used within the text that the average North American might not be familiar with. The step by step recipes are simple, and often complimented by narrative explaining differences in methods and results, esp. between the Vij and Dhalwala families.

The tone of the work is very personal and casual; encouraging the reader to experiment with the basic palette of ingredients & spices presented, to create the flavour and texture best suited to their family's taste.

An absolute joy to have added to my kitchen reference shelf!
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Format: Paperback
This is a good reference for Indian food for the more experienced - I've picked up some excellent ideas for flavour combinations etc from here. I wouldn't recommend buying this if you're new to Indian food, because as someone else already pointed out, a lot of the recipes are wrong (i.e. they don't match the food that's prepared in the restaurant with the same names). Watch out for anything that calls for a certain quantity of water, as these are usually about 2-3 times greater than what's needed. I found this with several of the curries, including the Black Chickpea curry.
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Format: Paperback
I am a pretty confident cook with a fair bit of experience with Indian cuisine, and I had been looking forward to getting this book for some time.

I just prepared an Indian dinner and prepared a number of recipes from the cookbook. Some were definitely home-runs, particularly the beef short ribs. A few were total failures, and others would have been if I had not made adjustments. Examples:

1) The spiced roasted nuts called for 1 TABLEspoon of salt for one pound of nuts, which made them essentially inedible (and I am fond of salty snacks, and I don't have any particular concern about the health effects of salt).

2) The spiced candied walnuts were also too salty, to my palate at least.

3) Vij family's chicken curry also called for a TABLEspoon of salt for a sauce that was only about 3 cups liquid--learning from my nut experiences [and common sense] I cut this down to 1 tsp, which was more reasonable. The sauce broke down and ended up very oily, so I used an immersion blender on it and it came out great.

4) The sturgeon and mussels in the tomato cream curry also called for a TABLEspoon of salt in about 6 cups of broth--I put in about half that and still found it a bit too salty. This whole dish left me wanting for something: The extra salt notwithstanding, it seemed mainly sour--I can think of a bunch of different ways I would rather have mussels, anyway.

5) The long green beans and potatoes were good with about half the recommended salt (again, a TABLEspoon in about 7 cups of liquid). This dish pointed out another oddity in the recipes: Sometimes, the ratio of the ingredients didn't make sense: Do we really want 9 oz of potatoes and 9 oz of green beans in 7 cups of liquid? I mean, that is soupy even for soup.
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Format: Paperback
Being a fan of Vij's restaurant for some years, I was always anticipating the day when they would finally come out with a cookbook. I had a newspaper clipping of one of Vij's recipes from years ago that is tattered and splattered from years of experimenting with just one of their curries! I was clinging to the hope that my repertoire would expand. It finally has thanks to the lovely owners of Vij's, Vikram Vij & Meeru Dhalwala.

Vij & Dhalwala encourage the reader to experiment, and this book will give you the impetus to do so. The pictures and descriptions are superb and will leave your mouth-watering as you decide which recipe to try first. They leave nothing to chance as they carefully guide you through these sometimes complex recipes.

Vij's food is like nothing you've ever tasted before (unless you've had the good fortune of eating there!) Clean, yet complex, flavours dominate. Some might say highly experimental- combining regional foods with an array of Indian flavours.

Downsides? I wish this book was printed in hardcover! Softcover cookbooks do not hold up to the wear & tear that a serious cook will havoc on such a beautiful book!

Also, you will need to find a purveyor of some serious spices. You probably won't be able to accomplish many of these recipes if you are relying on your local grocery store's spice aisle. Find an international or ethnic market. Okay, this experimentation with spices is not really a downside, just a warning.

Asafoetida? Ajwain?
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Format: Paperback
As one who is fortunate enough to visit Vij's in person on a regular basis, I was excited to learn that I could 'visit' Vij's even *more* often thanks to the publication of his and Meeru Dhalwala's much-anticipated book. Indeed, being able to(humbly) recreate Vij's finest signature recipes (in particular, try Lamb Popsicles, Beef Short Ribs in Cinnamon and Red Wine Curry, Vij's Family Chicken Curry, to name a few) helps me to avoid the one drawback of the restaurant itself - the sometimes snooty, always bourgeoisie atmosphere that accompanies upscale dining anywhere in Vancouver.

Strongly recommended for beginners and veterans of Indian cookery.
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