I was in Vancouver a few weeks back and had the chance to visit one of my favourite restaurants, Vij's Rangoli. This popular, award winning Indian restaurant is to die for! Not only do they source local and sustainable ingredients, but it's all made from scratch. The food is aromatic, incredibly flavourful and leaves you yearning for more. If you ever have the chance to pay them a visit, I strongly recommend it.
Vikram Vij and Meeru Dhalwala, co-owners as well as husband and wife, have published two wonderful cookbooks. The first, called Vij's Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine, which is part of my collection. It includes the Vij Family's Chicken Curry, which is one of the best curries I have ever made.
1/2 cup canola oil
2 cups finely chopped onions (2 large)
3-inch stick of cinnamon
3 Tbsp chopped ginger
2 cups chopped tomatoes (2 large)
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp turmeric
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp garam masala
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
3 lbs chicken thighs, bone in
1 cup sour cream, stirred
2 cups water
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (including stems)
In a large pan, heat oil on medium heat for 1 minute. Add onions and cinnamon, and saute for 5 to 8 minutes, until onions are golden. Add garlic and saute for another 4 minutes. Add ginger, tomatoes, salt, black pepper, turmeric, cumin, coriander, garam masala and cayenne. Cook this masala for 5 minutes, or until the oil seperates from the masala.
Remove and discard skin from the chicken thighs. Wash thighs and add to the masala. Stir well. Cook chicken thighs for 10 minutes, until the chicken looks cooked on the outside. Add sour cream and water and stir well. Increamse the heat to medium-high. When curry starts to boil reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring 2 or 3 times, until chicken is completely cooked. Poke the thighs with a knife. If the meat is still pink, cook for 5 more minutes.. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick. Cook curry for at least half an hour.
Transfer cooled chicken to a mixing bowl. Wearing latex gloves, peel chicken meat off the bones. Discard bones and stir chicken back into the curry. Just before serving, heat curry on medium heat until it starts to boil lightly. Stir in cilantro.
Vikram Vij and I outside of Vij's restaurant