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How to pair Indian food with wine

Chef Michael Swamy’s new book, Easy Guide to Pairing Indian Food and Wine introduces innovative ideas to pair Indian food with wine, and preparing recipes with wine too

A delicious plate of pasta with a glass of wine. What if you try changing this image where we tell you to sip on vino as you dig into a Gujarati thali? Chef Michael Swamy has gone off the beaten path with a new book, in association with Pernod Ricard.


Michael Swamy

“People have this perception that you can pair wines only with international cuisine,” says Swamy, “And, once you have had half a bottle of wine, what do you do with the rest of it? You can actually cook with it; the reason why I have included recipes that use wine as well,” he reveals.

Indian Food and Wine

Mumbai-based Swamy has worked on six books (which include books on desserts with wine, barbeque food and celebratory food) in this series, and this is the first title from it that will be launched. He shares three recipes that will bring cheer to those who love the spirit.

Easy Guide to Pairing Indian Food and Wine, Michael Swamy, Om Books International, Rs 195, in stores soon.

Creamy Grilled Cottage Cheese
>> 500 gm paneer
>> 1 cup drained yoghurt
>> ½ cup white wine
>> ½ tsp turmeric
>> ¼ tsp chilli powder
>> ¼ tsp salt
>> 2-3 tablespoons ghee, melted
>> ¼ tsp white pepper powder
>> 1 capsicum, cut into squares
>> 1 onion, cut into squares

Creamy Grilled Cottage Cheese

1. Cut the paneer into cubes.
2. Combine the yoghurt, wine, turmeric, chilli powder, salt and white pepper in a bowl and whisk to mix. Add the paneer cubes and mix to coat well.
3. Thread the paneer, capsicum and onion onto skewers, brush with melted ghee and grill, turning, to cook evenly on all sides. Do not allow the paneer to colour.
4. Alternatively, heat the ghee in a pan. Add paneer cubes and fry turning to cook evenly on all sides, without allowing them to colour.
5. Sauté the onions and capsicums squares as well.
6. Serve hot with onion rings and a green chutney sauce.

Roast Pickled Wine Chicken
Chicken
>> 1½ cups dry white wine
>> 2 heaped tablespoons pickle spice blend
>> Salt to taste
>> Juice of 1 large lime
>> 3 tablespoons melted butter
>> 1 kg whole chicken with skin, cleaned inside and out


Pics courtesy/Michael Swamy

Salad
>> ½ cup cooked barley
>> 1 cup cooked brown lentils
>> ½ cup finely chopped onion
>> ½ cup finely chopped red capsicum
>> ¼ cup sunflower seeds
>> 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
>> 1 tablespoon canola oil
>> 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh dill
>> 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk wine with pickle spice blend, salt, lime juice and 2 tablespoons butter and set aside for 10 minutes to allow flavours to meld.
2. Add the whole chicken to the bowl and rub wine marinade all over it. Cover and set aside for 2 hours, turning chicken over at regular intervals.
3. Preheat oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7.
4. Place the marinated chicken on a large baking tray lined with foil. Pour leftover marinade into a small ovenproof bowl and place inside the chicken cavity.
5. Roast the chicken for 30 minutes. Brush with remaining butter, cover with foil and roast for another 30 minutes, or till chicken is tender and juicy.
6. For the salad, combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and  toss well to mix.
6. Carve the chicken and serve hot with the salad.

Shrikhand
>> 1 cup dry white wine
>> 1 cup sugar
>> 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
>> 4 cups drained (hung) yoghurt
>> A few saffron threads
>> 1 teaspoon sliced pistachios

Shrikhand

1. Combine wine with sugar and cardamom in a frying pan and cook over medium heat till sugar dissolves. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, till syrup thickens to a consistency just thinner than honey. Remove from heat and lower the temperature
by half.
2. In a bowl, whisk the drained yoghurt; pour in the warm wine syrup and stir to mix. Place in a refrigerator to chill.
3. Serve chilled, garnished with saffron threads and sliced pistachios.

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