who says that Raghda Batesmalvani The tent Cutlets and Pav Bhaji, aren’t they good for a finely matched glass of wine? Ask French culinary writer Laurent Moujon and he’ll tell you how polished one can really get at wine That will stand up to every Indian flavor from street to main street. Wine serves one main purpose: to simply make a dish great. Do not disturb, do not crowd, do not beat, do not walk alone. You just have to walk with food.”
It was six years ago, during a reception for Indian students studying oenology (the study of wine) at the Institut de Promotion Commerciale in Bordeaux One of the world’s oldest wine-producing regions is in southwest France – which made Moujon think when repeatedly asked about Indian food and pairing it with Bordeaux wine, commonly known for sharing the table with steak, roasts, and cheese plates.
After authoring two books that saw Bordeaux wines paired with kitchens from China and Japan, the latest book to prepare for the innovative Mujon Culinary Project is the first cookbook of its kind featuring Indian food in all its forms. Dania Jereh Ghee Haldi Glory has found its rightful place alongside Bordeaux’s mix of red, white and sparkling.
This culinary journey through various Indian provinces with wine from the sacred palaces and vineyards of Bordeaux has sparked 67 successful couples with prominent Indian chefs playing the role of matchmaker.
Try this: If you find the curry leaves and coconut in ‘eruption bean’ a good partner in the ’round and softer’ tasting flavors of Saint Emilion Grand Cru (a top-class wine) or vin de France (a French table wine), the ‘Chateau de Rétote’ ‘Satin’ with spicy notes and South Indian ‘Lemon Cedar’ made for a happy couple. The taste of mashed lentils and prawns from Parsi ‘Kolmi no Patio’ strikes the right balance with ruby red ‘fresh on the nose and clean attack on the palate’ from the vineyards of Chateau Tronquoy-Lalande while spices and anise are stirred in. The pig is Goan assado style. My personal favorite is Mojon? “Old Delhi style Butter chicken‘a dish that started from Moti Mahal and traveled beyond the Indian subcontinent ‘to accentuate the tones of white Bordeaux’.
Chef Team Involved Sanjeev KapoorSriram Elor, Sarah Todd and Akshraj Gouda from India; The likes of Vivek Singh and Cyrus Todiwala from the UK; Akshay Bhardwaj and KN Vinod from the United States worked alongside Sonal Holland, the first to be awarded the title of Master of Wine in India who led the tasting and Ujwala Samant, a wine expert who also co-authored the book.
“The format was to pair each recipe with four wines – some white but mostly red – to allow people to choose and range to suit tastes and budgets. Sonal Holland came armed with a table of recipes and their ingredients, spittoon, bread and wine,” Samant said, acknowledging that the selection was not easy. “Discussions about spices, flavors, the context of the Indian meal, and the temperatures in India helped us pair the wine.”
Samant – a former Mumbaikar who learned about wine while living in Bordeaux when vineyard owners opened her tasting buds for wine grapes and she is currently based in the US where she started a wine-tasting group – calls her teacher “serendipity”. “I realized that not serving wine with Indian food was kind of old-school crap based on the believer’s limited exposure to foods off the European table,” says Samant, who is often surprised when she smells fresh peeled green mango at Sauvignon Blanc.
However, Samant’s journey of digging deeper into flavors and making more wines with Indian foods taught her that the intricacies of pairing “largely uncharted and sacred territory” was also about using taste instincts. Looking at the distinct flavors that define each Indian region — the maharashtra-infused coconut and peanut, spicy and tart Goan food, or creamy North Indian cuisine — “it was about the kind of wine that fits the creator’s vision of the food you eat, and why chestnuts,” she explained. Old rumbles like “Wine is wasted on Indian street food” and “Indian food is too hot and spiced with wine”.
Samant says who gave once Raghda Batesmalvani The tent cutlets, Pav BhajiAnd the masala Peanuts, samosas and Maharashtra Behret At a fall dinner in the United States, let her guests choose the wine. “All of our guests – Americans, Europeans and Asians – went red first, and turned pink and white. They all said this was a new experience because whenever they went to Indian restaurants, they ordered beer,” Samant said, recalling the experience that helped debunk another myth – “The best pairing for Indian food is beer.”
Optimistic that wine is no longer a reserve of “luxury” in India as young people take to the drink and liquor views change about wine production, Samant feels the time is right for regional food pop-ups with conversations about wine. Compatibility with Bessie Bill Bhatt or kosha mangshu or Goshtapa or abams idi It would demystify and democratize what is after all fermented grapes in a bottle.”
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