Vij's at Home
Meeru Dhalwala and Vikram Vij, 2010

I wish I liked this cookbook, since I got it as a gift, but it's been mostly a bust. Too bad, because I quite liked Vij's original cookbook, though I haven't gotten as much use out of it as I expected when I wrote it up. If that was the cookbook of Vij's restaurant, and this is the cookbook for Vij's home, then I guess I'm glad I've been to his restaurant and haven't been to his home.

There are three main problems I encountered with the recipes here (and note that I'm only talking about the vegetarian chapter, since I'm a vegetarian):

1) Way too much cayenne. I like reasonably spicy food, but I quickly learned that any reference in this book to a quantity of cayenne needed to be changed to "a pinch."
2) Too much water. All of these curries came out as soups. Apparently that's deliberate but it's not to my taste.
3) Too much coconut milk. Based on the text I gathered that "at home" meant, to a great extent, "kid-friendly," and that often meant drowning any flavor of the dish in coconut milk to make it bland enough for a six-year-old. I kept thinking these would be good, since I like coconut milk-based Thai curries, but they never were.

I can't be entirely negative, because there were two winners: a zucchini soup with a milk and turmeric base, and a "steak-cut" cauliflower cooked in a tomato masala. But all in all, yeah, this is no reason to stop going to Shalimar.

comment on
comment on
comment on
return to the
Calendar page