Pairing Indian food and alcohol is quite a work of jugglery. Since on one side, in India, the objective of consuming alcohol is to get high rather than appreciation of a drink. And on the other hand, Indian food is known for its curries, mixing and a melting pot of complex flavours. And thus drinking anything heavy and complex along with Indian food is a big NO. So don’t complicate your taste buds with random drinks. Here is a list of recommendations on what drink you should enjoy along with the variety of Indian spices and curries.
We are sure you would have encountered the term called as Patiala Peg for Whiskeys. As they say that a spicier whisky goes well along with strong flavours, you will usually find people enjoying Chicken Tikka, tandoori kababs or Paneer with their drinks. The smoky flavours of charcoal-fired tandoori food items and snacks complement the peaty notes of whiskies.
The starchiness in some of the dishes like nans, rice and curries usually beats a Patiala peg hangover. Even vegetarian dishes like a south Indian palette comprising of mini idlis, cholam kerrai masial, aloo bondai are easy to enjoy with Whiskies.
Other spirits like Vodka also become a natural choice for people to enjoy with Indian food since it does not interfere with the digestive system at all. In fact, many unique combinations with Vodka are warm and can relax you like, potato based curries: Dum aloo and nans, fried fish, coastal food like Bombil fry and different salads.
Since Beers are a versatile drink, various Indian dishes can be matched along with it. Coastal food like fish, spicy Goan curries, succulent koftas, lassoni chicken tikka or even pakoras. The Hyderabadi Dum Biryani which is known for its strong flavours can be perfectly enjoyed with Beer to reduce the intensity of the burn.
If you are at a brewery then look for beers that will either harmonise or contrast with flavours of the cuisine. Beers are a sublime match to various India dishes which will gently cut through Indian dishes. For those who enjoy deserts, pair beers with some chocolate preparations like Brownies.
Wine consumption has been a recent phenomenon in India. Wines with simple, well-defined flavours usually create balance with complex Indian dishes. Dishes which have tomato based curries like Jalfrezi or Baingan Bharta, cream based curries like Kormas, Pasandas and green based curries, all of these can match with fruity wines that can be served cool or cold along with them.
The sweetness in the wine complements and balances the spices in such dishes. Unlike the colloquial thought that wines are meant only for meats and seafood, they can definitely go well with rich Indian cuisine. There are quite a few home grown local wine brands but one has to be careful with the acidity part of a wine as acidity and Indian food don’t team-up well.
Gone are the days when one would think that alcohol and Indian food don’t complement each other. It is rather easy to pair up them together and enjoy best of both the worlds.
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