#brownbagit with Chef Vikram Vij

Chef Vikram Vij

As part of our #brownbagit campaign, Action Against Hunger is sharing simple packed lunch recipes from Canadian chefs from coast-to-coast-to-coast. This fall, join your fellow Canadians: pack a nutritious lunch and donate the money you save so every kid can eat a healthy lunch.  Read on for the tasty recipe from Vancouver’s Chef Vikram Vij, owner of the Indian restaurants Vij’s, Rangoli, My Shanti, and Vij’s Sutra.


Chef Vikram Vij

Restaurants: Vij’s, Rangoli, My Shanti, and Vij’s Sutra
Located: Vancouver, British Columbia
Follow Chef Vij: Facebook Twitter / Instagram

Like you, Chef Vij is concerned about fair access to food for all Canadians — so he took action — Chef Vij is sharing this delicious recipe for an easy lunch to take to work or school. Make this recipe this week and be sure to donate if you believe in a Canada free from hunger.



Chef Vikram Vij’s Coconut Curried Vegetables


  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 25-30 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 Tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 ½ cups finely chopped onions (2 medium)
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes (2 large)
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 (12 oz) can coconut milk, stirred
  • 1 lb egglplant, in 1 ½ inch cubes
  • 1 lb cauliflower, in 1 ½ inch florets
  • ¾ lb red, green and/or yellow bell peppers, in 1 ½ inch cubes
  • ¾ cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 to 4 cups cooked basmati rice

Serves 6-8


In a large pot, heat oil on medium heat for 1 minute. Keeping your head at a distance from the pot, add curry leaves and mustard seeds and allow them to sizzle for about 1 minute, or until just a few mustard seeds start to pop. (The curry leaves will cook and become shriveled.) Immediately add onions and sauté until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and cumin, turmeric, cayenne, salt and black pepper. Sauté the masala for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the oil glistens on top. Stir in coconut milk. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add eggplant, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Add cauliflower and bell peppers, cover and cook for 5 minutes more. Stir in cilantro.

To serve

Place ½ cup of hot rice in each of the six to eight large bowls. Ladle curry over the rice.


Don’t forget to take a photo of your lunch and share it on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #brownbagit. 


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