• India

Chef, Entrepreneur, Author and Television Personality

Vikram Vij is a chef, entrepreneur, author and television personality. He was born in India and lived there until age 20, when he moved to Austria. Vikram came to Canada in 1989 to work at the Banff Springs Hotel.

Today, he owns three award-winning restaurants: Vij’s Restaurant, Vij’s Rangoli and My Shanti. He produces a line of gourmet take-home meals – Vij’s At Home – out of his Surrey-based factory. His foods are sold at BC Place stadium, Rogers Arena Whistler/Blackcomb and Loblaw’s City Market stores.

Vikram has appeared on Top Chef Canada, Chopped Canada, Recipe to Riches, and in 2014, debuted as the first Indo-Canadian Dragon on the CBC’s Dragons’ Den. He is also a certified sommelier and recipient of an honorary Doctorate of Law from Simon Fraser University and an honorary Doctorate from the University of British Columbia. He is an award-winning co-author of three cookbooks, including Vij's Indian, Vij’s: Elegant & Inspired Indian Cuisine and Vij’s at Home: Relax, Honey.

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Vikram Vij

Punjabi Daal

Punjabi Daal

10 Serving(s)
Preparation time
Cooking time
2h 30m

Gourmet Gurus
Fairly cheap


  • 1 1/2 cups whole urad lentils (or mung beans if you don’t have any urad lentils)
  • 1/2 cup dried kidney beans
  • 13 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp asafetida
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric (optional)
  • ⅓ to ½ cup butter or ghee
  • 2 cups very finely chopped onion (1 very large)
  • 3 tbsp chopped garlic (9 medium cloves)
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped jalapeño pepper (optional)
  • 3/4 cup chopped cilantro


  1. In a large bowl, combine lentils and kidney beans. Wash and drain them a few times to remove any impurities. Add 6 cups of the water and set aside. Allow lentils and kidney beans to soak for at least 2 hours.
  2. Transfer the lentils, beans and their soaking water to a large pot. Pour in the remaining 7 cups of water, then add asafetida, salt and turmeric and bring to a boil on high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. While the lentils and beans are simmering, in a frying pan, heat butter (or ghee) on medium-low heat until it melts. Add onion, increase the heat to medium and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, or until soft and light brown. Add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in ginger and jalapeño pepper and sauté for 1 minute. Turn off the heat. Stir the masala into the cooked lentils and beans. Just before serving, stir in cilantro
  4. To Serve: With a bowl of rice and some yogurt on the side or as a side dish with any meat or vegetable curry.

Recipe notes

From Vij’s at Home: Relax, Honey by Meeru Dhalwala & Vikram Vij