Curry goes perfectly with a nice cold beer, so I’m told, because I don’t like beer or lager. Believe me I’ve tried to like the stuff and on a super sunny day I can just about force a half an Amstel down but anything darker and I can’t seem to get past a twisty-face inducing mouthful. My record to date is a massive six Estrella on a #ladsladslads night out in Barcelona during Primavera Festival. Hats off to beer drinkers, I’ve no idea how you do it, after six Estrella I was not only sozzled but so extremely bloated I couldn’t possibly contemplate eating anything.
I’m not exactly a wine connoisseur either to be fair – I inevitably flit between Rioja, Pinot Grigio and Prosecco when I order it but a Sommelier and Spice evening was far more appealing to me than a craft beer and curry one would be and so when Angeethi invited us along to sample some wine and curry matchings, I accepted gladly. I’ve been to Angeethi before. When I worked on the nearby Team Valley, my team and I popped in a few time for team outings, so I knew some good quality food would be served up and I was inquisitive to see if I had any innate wine matching instincts. There were a series of starters paired with individual wines and then a round of main course curries where we were given a few wines to sample in one go in order to find our own preferred pairings. As Steve drew the short straw to be designated driver, I bravely consumed twice my quota of wine in order to get a really really good idea of what went well together (not through greediness, honest).
Things started with poppadoms and dips, which we tried not to go mad on as we knew from the pretty menus there was much more to come. The first starter was Chicken Chaat, which was served with a Round Hill white zinfandel rosé – fresh, light and crisp as you’d expect. I’m not usually a rosé fan but this wasn’t as horrendously sweet as some. There was as you can see a fair bit of red onion alongside pomegranate in this dish and through trial and error I realised sipping the rosé brought out a sweetness in the onion.
Next up was Zaffrani salmon with Sauvignon Blanc Babich Label. I’d have probably picked up a Pinot Grigio if I was pairing at home. We eat salmon at least twice a week in our house, I’m pretty much addicted and so this tandoor salmon was one of my favourites of the evening as was the next starter, the Hara bhara kebab. On previous visits to Angeethi we’ve found that they do veggie food particularly well and this spinach falafel/bhaji-esque ball was delicious. I gobbled up seconds even though I knew I should be saving room for future courses. I wasn’t too keen on the sweet red yoghurt sauce that accompanied it – I’m more of a mint raita fan myself. The last of the picky items were some grilled lamb chops that demanded grilled lamb chops that demanded to be eaten off the bone, accompanied by a nice red Nostros Reserva Pinot Noir, which was probably closest to my usual wine choices.
When I go out for curry I tend to go in one of two directions with my main courses – I either order vegetarian and add a bunch of vegetarian side orders too, so I can try as many things as possible in one go or I choose a lamb dish. The lamb kadhai we were served was very good – a lovely rich, meaty gravy, along with it we had a chicken tikka makhani and fish madras. I love a madras and would probably liked this to have been a mite hotter. I merrily mixed and matched sips of El Cota Rioja Cranza (yay, Rioja!), Casa Silva Cabernet Sauvignon and The Landings Shiraz Cabernet. For some reason two of my curry photos seemed to have gone missing off my phone (booo!) so for now, here’s the chicken tikka makhani…
Desserts are often overlooked at Indian restaurants but I always like to try out something authentic rather than diving into an ice cream. I was very pleased to see a gulab jamun paired with Principe de Viana Late Harvest Chardonnay. The wine wasn’t as sickly sweet as some dessert wines and it’s one I’ll be looking up, I don’t usually like Chardonnay but this was my surprise favourite tipple of the evening. I love how stodgy some Indian desserts are and though this might have been too sweet for some, I would have happily had some extra fruity jam oozing over it. God knows where my sweet tooth has come from over the past few years, but I’m starting to feel like I’m more of a pudding than pasty girl!
We had a fabulous evening at Angeethi and will no doubt be back some more salmon soon. What’s your favourite beverage to have with a curry?