By Vikram Vij

Many people living in western society think of pulses as a vegetarian alternative to protein, as a great low fat option for a meat substitute, or an ingredient that helps make amazing soup.

And they’d be right.

But for people like me, who were born in India, as well as many other countries around the world, pulses are THE MAIN basis of our diets from the day we start to eat solid foods. Many Indians are vegetarians, and pulses are often the main way to consume protein in meat-free homes.

Menu items with pulses in, make up a large percentage of the dishes we serve at all our restaurants, and they are the key ingredients in several of our best selling frozen food products — our curried chickpeas, and our spinach daal.

If you don’t do it already, #GlobalPulseDay is a great day to incorporate pulses into your family dinner in some way. One of the things I’m most passionate about is making Indian food a staple meal in Canadian homes on a regular basis. I want Indian dishes to be embraced as much as Italian cuisine, Chinese food or Ukrainian fare. What better way to start that movement, than on Global Pulse Day, with an Indian dish cooked using the most popular ingredients in my home country?

Here are some links to some Vij’s recipes I recommend you try as “starter” dishes. But feel free to make changes and add your own style and flair to these meals — that’s what cooking is all about!

Chickpeas in Star Anise and Date Masala
Vij’s Lentil Curry