Curry in a Hurry (or five hours… but who’s counting?)

JP, have you ever been to Vij’s in Vancouver? It is a delicious East Indian Restaurant that people flock to. I got the cookbook for Christmas, it’s also called Vij’s. My friend who was visiting had just been to the restaurant a few days before coming to see me. When she heard I had the cookbook she wanted to try a few recipes.

We decided on Vij’s Family Curry Recipe, Halibut with Black Chickpea and Yam Curry and Cumin Basmati Rice. So around 4 pm we went on a shopping trip to 34th Ave. to pick up some items like black chickpeas – only problem is they only sold dried black chickpeas and we did not have the time to soak them. So we went to Superstore to get the rest of the ingredients and to see if they had canned black chickpeas. No luck and they did not have jalapenos. So we went to Wild Earth foods and they did not have any. Then we went to Safeway and finally found jalapenos. We decided to use regular chickpeas.

I don’t know if you have ever made Indian food before, but let me warn you – before you start cooking (or are thinking about cooking) read the recipe. So by this time it is almost 6 pm and we haven’t even started making dinner. We finally read the recipe for the Black Chickpea Curry (but now regular chickpea) recipe and it says to simmer the yams for 2 hours!! You think by this time we would have quit and gone to New Asian Village, but this is the recipe that had the jalapenos in it and I would be dammed if I drove to four grocery stores for two jalapenos and didn’t use them.

The whole recipe was time consuming and tasted good, but not great. I felt that halibut is such a great tasting fish why would I want to cover it with curry? It would have probably been better with cod (or at least better on my wallet).

You can see by the steam in the photo that it was nice and hot and I was way too hungry by this time (9 pm) to wait for it to cool down and take a nice picture.

Vij’s Family Curry is much easier. It is one of those recipes where you put most of the ingredients together and let simmer. It also tastes like no other curry I have had. It has sour cream in it, which the book said was odd, but they found it improved the flavour.

The Cumin Basmati Rice I would make again and again. It was really easy. It was oil, cumin seeds, water and rice. The recipe had me soak the basmati rice for 15 minutes before cooking and it was the best basmati rice I have had, so I think I will try that again when making regular basmati rice to see if it makes a difference. We did not make the naan in the photo. We thought about going out and finding an oven, installing it and making the bread, but we decided we did want to eat that night so I sent the consort out to the local Indian restaurant where for $7 and 10 minutes he returned with the delicious naan. Then we ate curry every day for the rest of the week.

Posted by King Crabby


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