Alcohol with Indian Food

November 23, 2006

 

wine.jpgRight. Back to the subject of what alcohol to drink with Indian food. You remember a few days ago I touched on this subject, then got drunk and vowed never to touch alcohol again?

Well, here I am again. Sipping a Californian Rose, writing about what tipple best suits a curry. The research is over, and has also been tested on my consumer PR colleagues at Monday’s dinner party.

As a rule, I would never recommend drinking anything too heavy or complex with Indian food. The food has enough different spices to keep your taste buds content for it to be necessary to complicate matters with booze.

Spirits

Let’s start with spirits, because that is what most people drink before dinner in India. Scotch and vodka are perennial favourites. Scotch for the men and vodka for the ladies.

My nutritionist actually recommends sticking to vodka when drinking because it’s so pure, it doesn’t interfere too much with the digestive system (Always good to think about the digestive system when eating Indian food).

Drinking spirits can be tricky at dinner parties though. How do you know what people prefer? And getting mixers to suit different requirements can also be a pain.

Beers

In my experience, beer is drunk during the daytime than at night in India. It’s more of a lunchtime tipple, presumably because of its low(er) alcohol content.

I am not a big beer drinker. But I believe many lighter and slightly sweet Belgian beers are excellent with Indian food, like Leffe. Indian beers like Kingfisher and Cobra are also hugely popular, sometimes because you don’t get a very exhaustive drinks list at Indian restaurants.

Wine

Ah-ha. This is where I can really show off with some new found knowledge.

Wine drinking in India is fairly recent phenomenon, with producers like Grover and Sula making inroads into international markets with their great wines.

My media and wine expert research has uncovered that aromatic and unoaked white wines, with a touch of sweetness worked best with Indian food. Rose wines also work well and with red wine, the light and fruity types with soft tannins (the dry taste you get at the back of your mouth, after a sip of the wine) are your best bet.

The Aberdeen Press and Journal was a huge help with this summary. Now, I am no expert, but this sounds to me like any wine that is described as “soft and fruity and drinkable”.

The other thing to look out for is acid. In my years of excessive wine drinking with Indian food, I have learnt that acidity and Indian food do not team well. According to wine expert Matt Skinner:

As a rule, wines produced north of the Equator will be higher in natural acidity and lower in alcohol.

At the dinner party, we tried Australian Chardonnay, Italian Pinot Grigio and Californian Rose wines and they all worked well. On the red front, we enjoyed a very drinkable Chilean Merlot. And I am happy to report that no one complained a dodgy tummy the next day, from the food or wine.

This is obviously a very simplistic view, as wines are wonderfully complex beings. But if you like me usually buy alcohol for dinner party drinking in a mad panic and are stuck for options in a restaurant, then these should help as easy-to-remember guidelines.

Just as I thought I had come to the end of my research, I found this fabulous article on how turmeric prevents alcohol-related liver disease! Glug…

Comments

42 Responses to “New look, new book, old me”

  1. nags Says:

    May 3rd, 2010 at 10:49 am

    this is awesome!! Congrats :)

  2. Sra Says:

    May 3rd, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Whee! Book looks good. Congratulations on that and micro mini Basu too! Thanks for thinking of me.

  3. Silvara Says:

    May 3rd, 2010 at 11:41 am

    OMG!! Congrats on….everything!!! The book, the fantastic new look and LOL micro mini Basu :D

    I am so glad you said the book was available in Australia – I’ve been using your recipes to cook quick indian food for ages and loved every one :D Will check it out asap!

  4. Maninas Says:

    May 3rd, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Doulbe congratulations, dear Mallika! :D

  5. Ritika Says:

    May 3rd, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Hey Mallika,
    Many, many congratulations… God, do u have a full life.. and yeah can’t wait for the book to hit the stores in India.. and congrats again :)

  6. teresacooks Says:

    May 3rd, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Congratulations on all of your big news! Think the book will be released in the states?

  7. Naomi Says:

    May 3rd, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    Congrats on ALL of it!

  8. meeso Says:

    May 3rd, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Congratulations & Congratulations :) I will definitely check out the book!

  9. radioactivegan Says:

    May 3rd, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    Congratulations on both!

  10. indosungod Says:

    May 4th, 2010 at 3:56 am

    Lots of Congratulations are in order. Have to get the book in my hands soon.

  11. sulagna Says:

    May 4th, 2010 at 5:20 am

    wow!!! girl..way to go!!! i was on amazon last noon trying to figure out how to book..you have to have to let me know of the india launch and how can i get myself a copy..lots of love to mini basu and the lil one on her way …once again congratulations on the very well deserved book :) and fame

  12. Eeshani Says:

    May 4th, 2010 at 5:43 am

    Congratulations, Mallika! How exciting!

  13. Bhagyashri Says:

    May 4th, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Congrats on the book & micro mini basu too! You certainly have your plate full, havent you?

    BTW, the new look is fantastic.

  14. Arundhuti Says:

    May 4th, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Congratulations Mallika!!

  15. manik Says:

    May 5th, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Congratulations on all accounts !!!!
    great new look !!

  16. Grant Says:

    May 5th, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Stumbled on your book yesterday by accident. Bought it straight away as I’m curry- & cookbook-daft. Am reading before taking it to the kitchen, but am dribbling slightly with anticipation! Entertaining read and looking forward to trying out the recipes. Refreshingly simple approach. Thanks!

  17. asha Says:

    May 6th, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Hi sweetie! What a pleasant surprise, will look for this book in Amazon. Great job! :)

    My blogs are recently fixed, so I am back. Thanks for your acknowledgment of me, I am honored!
    Happy Mother’s day to you. Hugs! :))

  18. dolly basu Says:

    May 6th, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    cant make up mind , enjoy reading the book or enjoy cookin first . i was laughing all the way . ha ha ha

  19. Mamatha Says:

    May 6th, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    Congratulations on the micro mini Basu and the book.

  20. Cool Lassi(e) Says:

    May 7th, 2010 at 12:02 am

    Hey Dear,
    I am a first timer to your space but it certainly won’t be the last. Made a beeline from Susan’s space(thewellseasonedcook) to here. Congrats on the book launch and baby#2. Checked out a video and a couple of posts..Lovely dhal clip by the way. While I was watching you cook, I was also wondering what shade of Nail Polish you had on your nails.Care to enlighten me? They look fantastic! Perfect for summer. Lol.

  21. Mona Says:

    May 7th, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Congratulations Mallika!

  22. Lavanya Says:

    May 7th, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Congrats Mallika on all the good news!!! When I read on your site that Miss Masala was available to buy on Amazon I bought it immediately and I love it, in fact am reading it just now with a Vodka cocktail in hand!!! Love it thank you and congrats again
    on your book launch and the great news about micro mini Basu.

  23. harshika Says:

    May 8th, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Hey Mallika,

    Double whammy! Of the good kind though! Huge congratulations on concieving the book and micro mini ,both! How accomplished are you! Am totally complexed now..again mean it in a nice way…
    Lovely everything. Go girl!

    Love
    harshika
    dubai

  24. Aviva Says:

    May 9th, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Hi Mallika, Congratulations! Am really happy for you! Plan to buy a copy of your book as soon as it hits India! More power to you! Besto, aviva

  25. Ren Says:

    May 14th, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Just discovered your blog and can’t wait to get your book!Love cooking Indian food for my Roman friends!

  26. PJ Says:

    May 17th, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    HI Mallika.Came thro Susans blog and love your space.Double congrats-for the book and the lil one.Will get a copy of ur book once it reaches India. :)

  27. Shilpa Says:

    June 16th, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Hi Mallika- heard all the big news and of course saw the uber-fantastic pictures. congrats on all fronts!! heaps of love from across the pond.

  28. mandira Says:

    June 24th, 2010 at 1:27 am

    Congratulations Mallika! congrats on everything, looking forward to reading it.

  29. cheese recipe Says:

    June 30th, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Congrats! Me gonna buy this today itself!

  30. Mary Says:

    July 7th, 2010 at 5:06 am

    Hi Mallika,
    Love your book. Thank you so much. I’ve been waiting and waiting for it because your recipes from the website are always so good. Now I am enjoying the book too. Many many thanks. Best wishes for you and your growing family. And thanks again. You’re a lifesaver.

  31. Glass Bottles Says:

    July 16th, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Congrats! I have to get me a copy of this! Looking forward to it!

  32. Srivalli Says:

    July 27th, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    New look is great Mallika, I thought I replied to your mail, will check again..:)

  33. rakhee Says:

    August 17th, 2010 at 8:57 am

    You have a wonderful blog going out here. Its every blogger’s dream to publish something in print in one’s lifetime. Hats Off to you as you have achieved that in a very early stage of your life. I just wanted to enquire where in UAE is your book available? Is it thru any site? Keep the good work going!!!!

  34. Shohini Says:

    August 17th, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    Congratulations!! New book, new baby, so excited for you. You must let us know when the book will come to Canada.

  35. Shabs Says:

    September 2nd, 2010 at 2:20 am

    Hi mallika,
    came here thru FB.Nice to meet you!I just dropped in to say congrats on release of your book!So much of work goes into making it ha?…..i have been thinking of making a book too, but the amount of work that goes into it is laying me back…BTW, I too live in UK, so one day We might bump on each other.

    oved your blog and recipes. Let me browse through the rest now.

    Regards,
    Shabs.

  36. nurez Says:

    October 29th, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    out standing blog will try to find the book today at Chapters GOOD JOB

  37. meeso Says:

    January 13th, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    I love your book!

  38. gypsydutta Says:

    January 14th, 2011 at 5:29 am

    love your blogs always.looking forward to read your book also.

  39. Jo Says:

    September 29th, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    1st read your blogs which pointed me to your book.
    Absolutely love our book can.t wait to try your recipes.
    It reads more like a novel than a cookbook which makes it so much fun to read, love ya style!

  40. Ankan Says:

    October 31st, 2011 at 11:11 am

    nice blog and congradulation..

  41. Ankan Says:

    October 31st, 2011 at 11:13 am

    I liked your book..

  42. Charles Amundsen Says:

    February 8th, 2012 at 2:55 am

    Hello i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anyplace, when i read this article i thought i could also create comment due to this good piece of writing.

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