Who Doesn’t Love Indian Food?

February 3, 2018 Uncategorized  No comments

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Certainly not me. From the first time I ever tried Indian food, I was amazed at the distinct and wonderfully explosive flavors – which were totally now to this kid living in Los Angeles. A friend knew a gentleman who was the chef/owner of a small restaurant on the Sunset Strip, and often we’d show up and get treated like royalty. He’d let me watch him roast fresh garlic over flame for his outrageously flavorful tamarind sauce for the crispy Somosas, and sear freshly ground spices for curries. Mesmerizing. Yes, I became rather hooked. Chinese or Japanese food, the previous “wild side” of my tastes in cuisine, took seats at the back burner.  And, fortunately for me, with an abundance of Indian restaurants covering all price points, Los Angeles can be a treat for a lover of Indian food – however, the challenge has always been what drink to serve with it? I had stupidly tried a California Cab with a Beef Bhuna one time, and the high alcohol and excessive tannins and chocolatey flavors were not a match at all. Since then, I had resigned myself to the safe beer or always-too-sweet and lightweight Sauvignon Blanc on rare occasion (of which I was never a fan).

Being a fan of the New York Times’ Food & Wine reviews, I came across a great article by Eric Asimov on pairing wine with Indian food.  He mentions that beer was a way to lessen the heat (as well as also unfortunately diminishing the flavors) of Indian dishes – yet who doesn’t love a great Taj Mahal? And isn’t a yogurt-based Lassi a more ideal way to extinguish the heat from spices? Possibly. However, I wanted to go by the ideas of the article and see if I could discover some new favorite pairings.

Los Angeles is home to a terrific place called Electric Karma – a restaurant with interiors as majestically beautiful and exciting as the food. Of course I had to order Chicken Korma (a rich curry made with ground nuts), Saag Channa, Garlic Naan, and Rice with peas, raisins and cashews, and vegetable Somasas – and good grief I could eat a dozen of those all by myself. And, not surprisingly, I brought along 2 wines that I will most assuredly bring again for my next Indian feast. But of course – being a creature of habit – I also had to have a pint of Taj Mahal as well!

 

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Both of these – the 2016 Donnhoff Oberhauser Leistenberg Riesling Kabinett and the 2016 J.-C. Pichot Vouvray offered beautiful accompaniment with their fresh, crisp acidity and peach-lychee flavors – without having the deep-end sweetness of a dessert wine (which I was afraid of – even knowing than I hadn’t picked an Auslese, Beerenauslese, or Trocken).  And, of course I picked them both up from LAWC - and it was $35 for both bottles – not bad at all.  As I’ve discovered – just like learning music – there’s always something to learn. In that regard, I’m happy to be slightly stupid.

And don’t forget, mention “Nickel & Dime” in the notes upon checkout for a discount flat shipping rate of $25.00 to the lower 48.

 

 

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