Whenever there’s a long lineup outside world renowned Vij’s Restaurant (which seems to be all the time!) its sister restaurant Rangoli, right next door, is the perfect alternative. Located on West 11th Avenue in the South Granville area of Vancouver, Vij’s Rangoli is great for lunch, casual dinners and take-out, and uniquely doubles as a restaurant and a market.
Their market sells freshly roasted and ground Indian spices, Vij’s famous cookbooks (Vij’s: Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine and Vij’s at Home: Relax, Honey), as well as ready-to-eat dishes. These conveniently packaged meals are frozen or refrigerated Indian dishes that were originally developed at Vij’s Restaurant. With “no such thing as a typical Indian curry”, each of Rangoli’s meals showcase the intricate flavours of Indian spices in combination with locally available ingredients. These handy meals can be reheated in various ways including “boil-a-bag”, microwave, and saucepan reheating. Even though the market’s food is pre-made, you’ll be happy to know that all of the products are cooked fresh on premises and are free of any preservatives, artificial flavours or colours.
A great option (especially for those new to Indian cuisine) is the Mild Chicken Curry – Rangoli’s chicken is cooked in a gentle tomato broth with sautéed onions and a small amount of spices. This is a fantastic curry for those who enjoy the flavours of Indian spices but not the intensity of heat from green or red chillies.
If you prefer to dine-in, there’s seating options inside and on their outdoor patio, and you’ll always be waited on by a friendly and informative server. The restaurant menu changes frequently, but always includes meat and vegetarian entrées that are different from the to-go meals.
Their Tamarind and Yogurt Marinated Grilled Natural Chicken ($16.00), served with sprouts salad, rice and naan, is often a popular eat-in choice. Rangoli’s naan is leavened bread, made from a mixture of whole wheat and all-purpose flour, and is served warm and lightly brushed with a little pure house-made ghee (clarified butter). Add a creamy mango lassi ($4.50) to drink, and you’ll be in nirvana 😉