Monday, December 26, 2011

I truly apologize for not been able to write about Rajindra Mane and Vijaylaxmi yesterday. I needed some time to recover from the pain of their elimination. It was so sad to see such wonderful people and cooks leave the kitchen. I cried when they cried, I laughed and smiled with their smallest or biggest victory.
Vijayalaxmi is such a wonderful woman and strong woman beyond words. Her connection to her daughter Komal is so powerful and inspiring. She is a true example of the courage of Modern Indian woman. I always called her Mahalakshmi and I am sure she will open her cafe with full dignity, just the way she lives her life. MasterChef kitchen misses her smile and the wonderful gajras.

I still feel my heart break when Mane hugged me before leaving the kitchen. He is an amazing person and a personification of hope for all of us. I always told Mane that he will go very far in life. He glorified our kitchen with his innovations, speed and victories. They are both WINNERS and I bow to them.
Love, Peace and Salute to their dreams and I am sure Success with kiss their feet.......Vikas

Friday, December 2, 2011

Times of India Literary Carnival

Very excited to be a part of Times of India Literary Carnival tomorrow, Dec 3rd, 2011.
The event will be at Mehboob Studios with Madhur Jaffrey and Karen Anand and is titled “Love In The Time of Karela”.
2.30 pm Mehboob Studios, Bandra.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

It was a pleasure meeting President Obama last Night and hearing him speak about the future of America.
He personally told me that he loves Indian Food and can cook a great Daal, Naan and Keema.
Dear President, You have ALL our support for the 2012 elections

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Headed to New York to witness a great event -The Annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. Will be thinking of all of you as these spectacular lights brighten the New York City sky, marking the beginning of a magical Holiday season – my most favorite time of the year.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Visiting the Foodhall @ Pallidium, Mumbai

My first cooking demo in India. Celebrating the launch of BBC GoodFood, I was visiting the gourmet heaven at Foodhall @ Palladium, Mumbai.
I made my signature dish "Tree of Life", which is Kellog's cornflakes crusted cauliflower with tomato-garlic chutney.
I am so so impressed by the top quality ingredients and variety.........

Cheers Vikas

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day at ITM-IHM Oshiwara, Mumbai

What a day at ITM-IHM Oshiwara, Mumbai. A Big thanks to Chef Yogesh Utekar, his amazing team and students. It reminded me of my good old college days at WGSHA. This institute truly personifies Indian Hospitality. Thanks Everyone for an amazing lunch and warm welcome.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Foodie Show with Kunal Vijayker

It was absolutely fun to Finally meet Kunal Vijayker and work with Chef Rohit Ghambir. Chef Rohit challenged me to create a dish out of a mystery box and then I cook a salad from BBC Goodfood Magazine. Kunal is a brilliant host and a great sense of humor. So watch Baingan Parmigiana on The Foodie. Enjoy Sunday!!!

MasterChef Cookbook

My best wishes to MasterChef Season 1 Winner Pankaj Bhadouria for release of her new cookbook and acheiving such great heights in the culinary world. I am so proud to learn so much from her. Kudos Pankaj, you are an amazing chef and a person, may you always shine and keep cooking a storm. Love Vikas

Greetings to you all

Thanks a ton to everyone for all your love, support and wishes. A small note of gratitude from all of us....

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Reception with President Barack Obama

Reception with President Barack Obama on 30th Nov: Proud to represent India on the auspicious occassion. 
From the invite "President Obama looks forward to celebrating the beginning of the holiday season with his closest friends and supporters here in New York."

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone

Everything you want to know about the Great American Holiday. Recipes to cook with more flavors and tips for organizing .
Thanksgiving Ideas and Inspirations.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Foodie Show

Spent an unforgettable afternoon with Kunal Vijaykar shooting for The Foodie Show for TimesNow. It was fun to share laughter and food with Chef Rohit Gambhir (Executive Chef, Trident, Bandra Kurla) and his lovely team. I am so proud of you all.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Rajat Nagpal - The Genius Modernist of Indian Cuisine

Rajat (The Genius Modernist of Indian Cuisine) left the MasterChef Kitchen today. He will always be the symbol of the new wave of Indian food for me. Thanks Rajat for everything and this wonderful mail that touched my heart. I am proud to share it with the World.
You have already reached a spiritual stage where nothing negative touches or bothers you. You have touched yourself at the level of "ID" and do not intend to live your life in the state of "EGO" but certainly have achieved to live in the realms of "SUPEREGO". You inspire one and all. Your aura spreads across oceans and continents. You are the herdsman who shall lead many a sheep to their destination. I am honoured to have been able to interact with you. i am honoured that you have touched me and my soul. I am honoured to have you take my name and bless me with your words. I am honoured to follow you as my Guru.
May this world never harm your spirit and may you continue to shine the way you have over four decades.
let you light remove every form of darkness that the negativity bestows in this world.
i feel this poem represents who you are. Please accept this as a humble gift on this auspicious day.

 Happy Birthday" Rajat

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Launch of BBC GoodFood Magazine

Proud to be the "Guest of Honor" with Deepika Padukone and Anjum Anand for the wonderful launch of BBC GoodFood Magazine today. Thanks to the whole team of BBC, Times Group, WorldWideMedia and Taj Hotels for amazing food, reception, entertainment and the GREATEST Food Magazine in India. So proud and I am cheering for your success. — at Taj Lands End.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Sunday Indian

I'm very inspired by my younger sister, Radhika Khanna, and I tremendously admire her. She wanted me to come back to India and inspire the next generation. Read more on The Sunday Indian >

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I am flying to India right now. After 10 years I will be with my Mom today evening to celebrate her big day. In America we have ONE day of the year which we call "Mother's Day". In India, everyday is Mother's Day........Here is to all the Mother's of India, who are the soul of my Country.
in the pic: My Mama on the First Day of MasterChef Shoot. Thanks Mama for giving me the strength to be here and in the World.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

BBC Good Food Magazine India

I am humbled to be on the cover of BBC Good Food Magazine India. 

I am so much looking forward to be honored as the "Guest of Honour" at the Launch of the Magazine on Nov 19th in Mumbai. many many thanks!!!
Hot on the heels of the BBC Good Food Asia edition comes the India edition. Billed as the UK’s best selling Food magazine it is a welcome addition to the present range of food magazines in India.
This is absolutely a revolution of food print media in India. 

Mumbai Pooram Festival in Dombivili.

Recently I was invited to Mumbai Pooram Festival in Dombivili. 

The highlight of the event will be the kudamattam, which is the brisk changing of colourful umbrellas atop elephants. Other popular items were kaikottikali, a symmetric group dance which was performed by over 1,000 women brought in from Kerala, theyyam, a ritual dance from northern Kerala, and the rhythmic beating of drums called thayambaka. 
A food festival of the delicacies from the state reminded me of all my time spend in Kerala and ofcourse Amma's Ashram.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Kasundi Flavored Grilled Chicken with Cumin

Dear All,
A week ago we had requested you all to submit your Kasundi Recipe to win my latest book "Flavors First". THANK YOU VERY MUCH for such amazing and creative recipes. The winner was hard to decide as we loved them all as we tested them. We loved Kasundi Flavored Grilled Chicken with Cumin.

The winner is Anjali Mehta from Hyderabad. So, dear Anjali ji, please send us your address at and I will be honored to send you the signed copy of the book.
The winning recipe by Anjali
1 cup plain yogurt, whisked until smooth
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon garam masala
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon Madras curry powder
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons Kasundi Paste
6 to 8 cloves garlic, minced
One 2-inch fresh ginger root, finely chopped
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
In a large bowl mix the yogurt, cumin powder, garam masala, chili
powder, curry powder, ginger, salt, lemon juice and garlic. Add the chicken and toss it with the marinade.
Cover and refrigerate for about 2 to 3 hours.
Preheat grill pan or an indoor electric grill to high.
Place chicken on hot grill and cook for 5 or 6 minutes on each side,
until charred at edges and chicken meat is firm and cooked. Serve hot.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thanks to all of you for the BEST Birthday ever!

My elder brother Nishant and younger sister Radhika had decided to celebrate my 40th Birthday (today) with me this year. But as we say that every moment is God's grace and we all surrender to HIS will. So, here we are after planning this day for weeks; finally Nishant is in Amritsar, Radhika is in New York and I am in Hong Kong. They called me at midnight from their respective time zones and we shared the greatest laughter together and agreed upon 2 things "NOTHING IS AS PURE AS CHILDHOOD MEMORIES and Distance is just a perception and they are celebrating with me". 

Also, many thanks to all of you for the BEST Birthday ever.

 Love Vikas

Hiral Agrawal: The greatest smile of MasterChef Kitchen

Hiral Agrawal: The greatest smile of MasterChef Kitchen left us today. I am sharing her letter that she wrote to me, the letter that I would always keep and read when I am down in my life. Thanks Hiral for your strength and courage and TALENTS.     

Very enterprising, super confident, well travelled. Has tremendous support from her husband, modern day woman. Very articulate. She loves mix n match cooking and what we call magic of passion and cooking. She is a Gujarati married to a UPite. She has a 3.5year old daughter. They shifted to Gorakhpur after her father-in-law passed away last year. The first dish she cooked was “Til Ke Laddoo” when she was in the 6th grade. She had also won the title of "Flavour-E-Azam".

I wish her all the luck and lots of love and blessings for her new dream restaurnat. Looking foreward to dining there. Hiral I am cheering for your success and thanks for inspiring me. I am SO proud of you and lots of love to Arna (Hiral's young daughter)

.......Love Vikas

Saturday, November 12, 2011


India's 50 Most Beautiful Many Thanks to Hi-Blitz Magazine's Anniversary Issue for including me in such an esteemed list of Indians.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Happy GURPURAB...!!

On this auspicious occasion of the birthday of Sh.Guru Nanak Dev Ji, I wish to convey you all my heartiest congratulations !!

Happy GURPURAB...!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Eid Mubarak

EID MUBARAK: Vikas Khanna's Holy Kitchens films explore, within the context of the world's major religions, the manifold spiritual meanings of the communal sharing of food in the hope that such an exploration can illuminate the source of the deep satisfaction universally found in such sharing.

MasterChef India 2 - Devika

Today's episode was very sad for me. Devika is a young, dynamic girl who left the MasterChef Kitchen today. 
One of my friend's once told me "How can sky be the limit, when there are footprints on the Moon". This is for you Devika.
I saw her grow in her culinary talents everyday in the kitchen. I wish her all the best in her new journey....starting from Le Cordon Bleu to touching the sky. (I mean going beyond the moon)

20 year old Devika is a single student from Delhi with a zest for cooking. Totally confident, this young girl wants to prove herself with her abilities and talent to her family and the world. Hailing from a rich family, she wants to establish her identity, earn the right to be a called a good cook and explore her skills as well. Persistent, Devika tried last year too but wasn’t selected. This season, she is mighty excited to be on the show. 

“My sister has created a career for herself by opening her own clothes store but I am still in the process of finding myself.” She wants to explore her capabilities as a chef and is inspired by her mother to a certain extent regarding cooking. She is extremely proud of cooking ‘no-bake’ cheese cakes as they are lighter.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Empowerment of Women in Modern India

“Maavan Thandiyan Chaavan” is a saying in Punjabi which translates to - “Mothers in our lives, are like the cool shade of a tree”.
I have been learning5 a lot more about the “Power of Mothers” in Modern India, spending time with group of mothers who make lentil dough, roll and dry papads, which we call pappadums in the West. The journey of these papads is long and comforting as it lands in my kitchens in New York and around the World.

When I was growing up in India, we only had one channel "Doordarshan", and I waited for the advertisement of "Lijjat Papad". Times begin to change and from black and white screens we moved to colored ones and the gray bunny used in those ads became visibly pink. I loved the jingle and the idea of a papad brand. Little did I know then that Lijjat Papad was started with less than $2 in 1959 with one vision, to empower women.
At that time I did not have any idea that those packets were impacting lives of thousands of women and their families.
It was commendable to see these women work effortlessly to fulfill their pledge to make sure that they provide us with utmost quality of papads and great lives to their children. Once the papads are sun dried on the back of the cane baskets, they are stacked and packed. Later they are collected by Lijjat.
The production from all over India is gathered at one central office where it is checked for quality, packed, transported to various depots and distributors.
Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad empowers women and creates jobs for thousands of women who roll out papads sitting at their homes and drying them in the sun.

I feel blessed to share such great moments with them and of course great Papad (now a symbol of motherhood and cool shades of affection and care)
You can learn more about Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad

Friday, November 4, 2011

Chef Ajay Chopra - "A-joy of cooking"

Meet my fellow Judge and dear friend: Chef Ajay Chopra, Executive Chef, The Westin Mumbai Garden City. Shooting with him everyday is a pleasure and a delight. His passion for life and food is a pure joy. I always tell him that if he ever hosts a cooking show, he should call it "Ajay of Cooking" and spell it as "A-joy of cooking". I had the great pleasure of enjoying his hospitality and cooking at the Westin Hotel for a wonderful tasting menu he did for the Nawab of Lucknow.

Having worked in London and had a great exposure to the International restaurant scene, Ajay brings a refreshing approach to Indian food culture. I wish him the best for being a-joy or ajay.

At the Westin Mumbai, he is responsible for the food and beverage operations of the hotel which includes" Prego" the finest Italian restaurant in Mumbai , "Kangan" which is acclaimed for its breath taking north west frontier food, and "Seasonal Taste" the 24 hour multi cuisine restaurant and a huge banquetting operations.

At the Westin Ajay's food phenomenon is all about relating food to the new world. With contemporary menus and his love for progressive food he has already made a mark in the food capital of India , "Mumbai".
Ajay humbly began his career with the Cecil Oberoi in Shimla and later went on to complete the finest culinary and management training program at the Oberoi Center for Learning and Development (OCLD) and emerged a gold medalist.

His first assignment as a chef was at Kandahar, the Indian specialty restaurant at the Oberoi New Delhi, where he gave an edge to the Indian cuisine served and savoured by the Delhi Palette. Ajay was also responsible for the hotel’s large banqueting operations as well as the coffee shop.

After his stint in Delhi ,Ajay moved to the J.W Marriott in Mumbai as the chef de cuisine of Lotus Cafe, the busiest and the largest coffee shop of Mumbai. Ajay then headed to Saffron at the JW as the chef de cuisine which is a hub of "A" listed bollywood celebrity bellies like Amitabh ji , Akshay kumar, Ajay Devgan, Saif ali khan and many more. After about a ten year stint in India, Ajay decided to venture west and reached London.

In London, Ajay was the Executive Head Chef of the acclaimed Mint Leaf chain of restaurants, which is a benchmark in Modern and sophisticated Indian Dining . During his tenure in London Ajay took Mint Leaf to new culinary heights in Indian cuisine. Mint Leaf has over the last 7 years enjoyed critical acclaim for its ability to re interpret classic Indian dishes in a contemporary fashion. During his culinary trail in the United Kingdom, Ajay was voted one of the eight best Indian chefs of London . At his stint at Mayfair he has brushed shoulders with the likes of Gordon Ramsay and Angela Harnet.

Ajay is an outgoing and fun loving person; he loves to meet new people. He is greatly committed to taking Indian cuisine into the progressive domain and constantly experiments with new ingredients and flavors. His repertoire of food and his attitude are his strengths.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Meet my new family, my 12 Zaykbaaz (taste masters of MasterChef)

Meet my new family, my new 12 Zayka-baaz (taste masters), new inspiation of my life, my new mentors and know more about them every week, as I will share their stories and journeys....MEET: Hiral, Joseph, Shipra, Shazia, Rajat, Jyoti, Devika, Shahzad, Rajindra, Puneet, Vijaylakshmi and Dolcee.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A food heaven in Surat (Gujrat)

I am presently in food heaven in Surat (Gujarat). Though my first introduction to the cuisine of Gujarat was Mrs and Mr Shah from Salaam Bombay restaurant, but I got more into Gujarati cuisines as I traveled extensively in India.
Finally I reached Surat. I can confidently say that even one Gujarati can bring the whole Gujarat to your life. Jya vase ek Gujarati tyan sada kal Gujarat", which translates to where there is even one Gujarati, there is a Gujarat forever. Diwali Sweets, Theplas, Undhiyu, Dhoklas and more more more. Love you Gujarat.
Jai Jai Jai Jai, Garvi Gujarat - maara dil maan dhadke Gujarat

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ojasvi and Saumya

Last week I went to Amritsar to visit Golden Temple and to meet my family before the MasterChef premiere. 
My 2 little nieces (Ojasvi 11 yrs old and Saumya 6 yrs old AND both want to be chefs) are God's BEST gift to my life. Here is what I found in a small book of Miss Saumya Khanna. I was so moved by the moment that I had to share it.

My two darling nieces - Saumya (l) and Ojasvi (r)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

MasterChef India 2 premieres on Star Plus

As we await the premiere of MasterChef India 2, which starts in just minutes now, A BIG Thank You to the entire team at STAR PLUS, MasterChef India and Colosceum. You guys are the best! Here is a picture of the food team (Sonal, Kush and Abhishek are missing). They make MasterChef Kitchen shine to glory......

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

2011 New York Rising Star Chefs Awards

Truly honored to have won the 2011 New York Rising Star Chefs Award.
 One of the proudest moments of my life. 
My most humble gratitude to Antoinette, Will and their entire team at Star Chefs.

Friday, September 23, 2011

MasterChef India 2

A milestone and an absolute honor to host MasterChef India Season 2
 -Ab Badlo India, Apne "Khaane" Ka Andaaz!.

 Starts Oct 22nd on Star Plus

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Niklas Mat Show at Junoon with Vikas Khanna

I am proud to spend so many days with Swedish Cooking Star Niklas Mat learning, 
teaching and inspiring new cuisine. Niklas Mat is a Swedish chef , restaurant manager, 
author and presenter of television , made famous by cooking program Food in Swedish Television. 
My heartiest congrats for such a successful episode

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

HASC conference at the White House-July 29th, 2011

We are honored to be a part of Hindu American Seva Conference at the White House on July 29th. Events like this help build inter-faith relationships and a much better World.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

HASC Conference at the White House: July 29th 2011

I was thrilled to represent India at the White House by hosting a Lunch and Dinner for attendees of Ms. Anju Bhargava's Hindu America Seva Conference. The event was held at the White House -EEOB.
We had a great turnout, very enthusiastic and supportive participants. Mr. Daljeet Singh Chatwal, of Aroma Restaurants in D.C partner to produce the food. It was a very proud moment in my life. I am very grateful for giving us this opportunity to be a part of this great event at the White House.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My 12 favorite summer things

1. White Peaches
2. Eating watermelon
  1. 3. Green mango drinks
  2. 4. Barefoot on beach
  3. 5. Tamarind sorbet
  4. 6. Walking back home from work
  5. 7. Running and cycling at greenways of Manhattan
  6. 8. HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival
  7. 9. Lemonade stands in Central park
  8. 10. Grilled burgers, fish, fruit...
  9. 11. Summer thunderstorms
  10. 12. Brunch at Boat House at Central Park

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tickets available for the World Premiere.
Karma to Nirvana is the second Film in the Holy Kitchen Series - it explores the food sharing traditions of Hinduism. The life and stories of Lord Krishna, - who is recognized as the eighth avatar of Vishnu or as the Supreme Being, is the starting point for the exploration of the ties between sharin...

Junoon on Virtual Gourmet

Thanks John Miriani of Virtual Gourmet for a great review.

Ambassador of Peace: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was honored with SAKIV's Global Ambassador of Peace for his efforts to promote peace in the World.
We are honored to announce the World Permiere of Karma to Nirvana at the Prestigious New York Indian Film Festival on May 4 - 8. Learn more about NYIFF which brought us Slumdog Millionaire, Namesake and many great films.

Karma to Nirvana

Take a sneak peek at our all new Holy Kitchens site. Thanks to so so many people who devote their time and talents to all these projects. Regards Vikas

Chocolate Souffle with Basmati Rice

Today's recipe testing: Chocolate Souffle with Basmati Rice, for our upcoming book "Flavors First". Andrew testing the recipe with me.
We are working with ground basmati rice instead of AP flour to create this dessert gluten free.
Here is another recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting and Raspberries

Merle Exit on Junoon

Thanks Merle for a great review of Junoon. Its always a pleasure to cook for you.

Junoon on Jus Punjabi

Check out the restaurant review of his unique new restaurant JUNOON on JUS Punjabi's Restaurant Review! Restaurant Review airs every Friday at 4:45 pm EST, Repeat on Friday 11:45 pm EST and Monday 10:45am.
Vikas Khanna's restaurant 'Junoon' on Restaurant Review!
Vikas Khanna was raised in Amritsar, India where he grew up surrounded by large family feasts, the seasonal produce fresh from the fields of Punjab, and of course, his Grandmother’s traditional home cooking. It was at his grandmother’s side that he began to learn the intricacies of Indian cuisine...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Junoon Spice Room. This is one my favorite place at the restaurant. Generally my day begins here (weighting, grinding, creating mixtures).

Lisa Ekus

One of my first American friends is also my great teacher "Lisa Ekus". She has nutured a whole generation of Chefs and promoted them on the world stage. I was honored to be invited to her house in Massachusetts. I clearly remember Hatfield on January 21st, 2006. Jane Fella came to pick me up from the station and I did not feel to be a stranger even for a moment.
This was the first American home I had visited too. We did a big cooking class to benefit The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.
Her husband David cooked a great dinner of pan seared scallops and home grown greens.
The cooking class was amazing, except that I added too much water to the flour to make breads. We kept adding more flour to make it right. And finally ended up with too many rotis.
In years to come, we have shared great meals together (City bakery, 11 Madison, Tamarind, Otto.....and ofcourse my first apartment) and she has had a very encouraging impact on my life. I have always shared her thoughts with my students and cherished her friendship.
Yesterday when she came to celebrate her daughter Amelia's birthday at Junoon, It was overwhelming to think about our journey together since our first meeting.
I am so much thankful to her and her family for making me feel so accepted as a friend and a chef.
Here is her side of the story