Fizz & Treats for Republic Day
26th January 2021
The day India officially became a Republic is marked on 26th January every year. At the time of writing, Boris Johnson the UK Prime Minister had been invited as Chief Guest for the occasion in 2021 however had to cancel the trip due to the situation with Covid at home and globally.
Although Indian independence from the British Raj happened in 1947, the country officially adopted its own constitution as a Republic a few years later. Under regular circumstances, Republic Day is met with celebrations and parades so I thought I’d select a few favourites and see how they go with some sparkling wine.
This is a staple from the state of Gujarat, actually a dry state in India. Growing up in North West London with a notable Gujarati community, I was introduced to it at an early age. These days we can make it in our own household. It’s like a light savoury cake though surprisingly filling. The mustard seeds, sesame seeds, chilli and curry leaves give it the kick it needs.
Pairing: Raimes 2015 Classic
I can’t help thinking this could work for an Indian style afternoon tea (this has actually become a thing in recent years and inspiration for another article) as the wine was almost champagne-like. Suitable for vegetarians, this would also pair very well with this little treat.
Luchi Aloo (Fried flatbread and fried potatoes)
This is an absolute favourite in the state of Bengal. Can be had for breakfast or in different guises at various points in the day. A version of it also fares well in Northern Indian states with the potatoes being cooked differently. A particular favourite for Sunday brunch in the UK when the weather isn’t great outside!
On this occasion, the luchi was not greasy at all and the potatoes captured the hint of mustard oil and turmeric very well.
Pairing: Raimes 2015 Classic
The wine was a little too heavy on the palate for so early in the day. It worked well with the dish however and a recommended pairing if this was prepared at lunch or later in the day.
Often had with Luchi Aloo (true story!) and can be had at breakfast time. An incredibly sweet and sticky offering. Brought to the table today for celebration purposes and of course, in line with the orange of the Indian flag. No pairing today, but I’d hazard a guess worth a try with some dessert wines. One for another time!
Days of celebration always come with a story, particularly those born out of a moment in history. Here we bring together two nations connected by 200+ years of history. In between cooking, eating food like this and the odd tipple, perhaps this year I’ll take the opportunity to learn a little more about the country of my forefathers. Whatever you do, happy Republic Day!
Author: Rupa Datta – [email protected]
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