One of the more challenging; but rewarding wine and food pairings is that of Asian cuisine, a broad palate, covering the cuisines of China, the South seas, and the Indian sub continent. I recently prepared this fantastic lamb and beetroot curry from the Westminster Cinnamon Club in London and found its best wine match.Spice whether sweetly aromatic like cinnamon, ginger, or garam marsala or herbal like fennel, cumin, or coriander reacts differently to wine. An all rounder, that not only bridges the two styles of spice, as well as the texture, heat, and flavour of curry may be surprising to many; but Shiraz – particularly chilled sparkling Australian Shiraz is one of the best matches. The curry had some great flavour enhancers and elements that paired extremely well with the wine. The key spice elements of garam marsala, clove, and chilli along with the unusual herbal notes of the camporus and smokey black cardamom pods in the background as well as beetroot with its earthy aromas and cooked sweetness added additional texture and complexity.
|Aromatic & wet spices|
Cinnamon Club Lamb and Beet Root Curry
Ingredients (serves 4): 750g leg of lamb, deboned and cut into 1½ inch cubes 400g beetroot, boiled whole and cut into 1½ inch cubes 500ml water 4 tablespoons oil 1 teaspoon cloves 4 pods black cardamom 3 medium size onions, thinly sliced 150g yoghurt 3 teaspoons salt 1½ tablespoons red chilli powder 1 tablespoon coriander powder 2 tablespoon ginger and garlic paste 2 teaspoon coarse red chilli flakes 1 teaspoon garam masala powder 4 sprigs of fresh coriander Juice of half a lemon For pickled vegetables 500ml distilled white vinegar 500ml water 70g sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon fennel seeds 1 teaspoon black onion seeds 8 baby carrots, cleaned 8 baby turnips, cleaned 8 baby radish, cleaned 8 baby parsnips, cleaned
Method: Marinate the meat with yoghurt, salt, red chilli powder, ground coriander and ginger-garlic paste and keep aside for 20 minutes. To prepare the pickled vegetables, combine the water and vinegar with sugar, salt and spices and bring to a boil. Add the vegetables and simmer until they are cooked, but still a bit crunchy. Remove from heat and strain. Retain the liquid for future use. Heat oil in a thick bottom pan, add the whole spices and stir for 30 seconds. Add sliced onions and fry until golden brown. Into the same oil, add the marinated meat and cook over a high heat for 10 minutes with constant stirring. Add the chilli flakes and cook for another 2 minutes. Now add the water, reduce the heat and cook for another 20-25 minutes. When the meat is nearly cooked and a little water remains, add diced beetroot and garam masala and cook for 5-6 minutes or until meat is tender. Remove from the fire and serve hot garnished with coriander sprigs and finished with a squeeze of lemon. Serve the lamb curry with rice or bread, topped with the pickled baby vegetables.
|My home version|
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|Bleasdale Sparkling Shiraz|
The chilled Shiraz, served at a similar temperature as white sparkling wine, with its low acidity, soft tannins, ripe fruit, and perceived sweetness lifted the exotic flavours within the dish without the heat in the dish. The bonus of carbonation, like beer, made for a refreshing cleanse between bites. The Bleasdale has a dense ruby colour, fine mousse, and aromas of raspberry, black cherry, and subtle pepper. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, with soft tannins and flavours mirroring the nose along with mulberry, chocolate, and warm spice notes.