host picture

| Bookmark and Share

Julie Van Rosendaal makes chicken curry

Julie Van Rosendaal makes one of Canada's most famous curry recipes - Vikram Vij's chicken curry.

Julie Van Rosendaal spoke to celebrity chef Vikram Vij in Banff about his new restaurant at the Banff Springs Hotel. Julie shared Vikram's family curry recipe on this morning's Calgary Eyeopener:

Posted by CBC Calgary on Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Indian chef Vikram Vij is best known for his warm personality - which is just as genuine in person as on TV - and his presence in his restaurants, Vij's and Rangoli, just off Granville St. in Vancouver, where he loves to treat customers as family visiting his home for a meal. (He also owns My Shanti, a restaurant in South Surrey, and was an investor on the ninth season of Dragon's Den.) But what few people know is that Vikram got his start in Canada at the Banff Springs, where he arrived as a new chef apprentice in 1989. Vikram grew up in Armistar, Delhi and Mumbai, and left in 1983 to study cooking and hotel management in Austria, where he met a manager from the Banff Springs and was offered a job. This summer, Vikram has come back to the Banff Springs to create a menu for their new seasonal restaurant, Indian Summer, which will take over the upper Rundle Lounge, which offers some of the best mountain views from the hotel. Chefs from the Springs will travel to Vij's every spring to cook in his kitchen and develop that years' summer menu, then come back to prepare Indian dishes in true Vij's style - toasting and grinding their own spices, making chutneys and naan from scratch, and serving it all up in a way that's natural to the Banff Springs and Vij's - with the highest level of hospitality, and plenty of love.


1/2 cup warm water
2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 tsp. sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 large egg
oil and butter, for frying

In a large bowl, stir together the water, yeast and sugar and let stand for 5 minutes, until foamy. If it doesn't foam, the yeast is inactive; toss it out!

Stir in the flour, salt, canola oil, yogurt and egg and stir, then knead until you have a soft, pliable dough. Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled in size; about an hour.

Divide the dough into 6-8 pieces and on a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece into a thin circle or oval.

Set a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of oil and dab of butter; when the pan is hot, cook each naan until blistered and golden, flipping as necessary. (When the surface has big blisters and is golden on the bottom, flip it over and cook until golden on the other side.) Add extra oil and butter in between if you need it - I usually add more after every 2 naan.

Makes about 8 naan.

The Vij Family's Chicken Curry

From Vij's Elegant & Inspired Indian Cuisine by Vikram Vij & Meeru Dhalwala

1/2 cup canola oil
2 finely  chopped onions
1 cinnamon stick
3 Tbsp. finely chopped  garlic
2 Tbsp. chopped ginger
2 large chopped tomatoes
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 sauté 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 separates 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. Increase 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. Cool 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.

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.