Inspiration Diwali Menu – Food and Fizz
11th November 2020
Diwali is a time of year where comfort food is enjoyed for Hindu families all over the world. Needless to say this year (2020) will lend itself to a very different experience than normal for those of us in the UK. The menu is always vegetarian, however most people probably don’t know that a lot of Indian food is naturally vegan so we decided to try out an Indian vegan menu with a vegan friendly wine.
Green banana (kaccha kela) and ginger cutlets
A staple that would largely be found in Southern India, we thought that this would be an ideal dish to pair with this wine – and it was! I later discovered that my paternal grandmother (Bengal) used to make a version of it that my father remembers fondly.
Light and yellow in colour with a notable ginger finish. The absence of a chutney as an accompaniment to it meant that after a couple of bites, it was dry in the middle. The wine came to the rescue as a result and the crunch of the onion added it’s own kick.
Verdict: Thumbs up for this pairing
Aloo Gobi (Potato and Cauliflower)
A Punjabi staple that was made famous in the UK during the early noughties because of a film named after a famous footballer! We often have this during Diwali as the ingredients are easy to put together and make in various quantities.
The dish had the right hint of spice. Succulent and soft in texture. The ginger finish once again sealed the complement though even without, the two would come together
Verdict: Thumbs up!
Punjabi Chole (Chick pea curry)
Another traditional dish that often surfaces in our house around Diwali. Can be made for the masses. Normally left to rest for a day or so but the magic pressure cooker turned it around in no time.
Normally deep in flavour full of spice without being hot. The pairing worked with the mouthfuls that had the ginger garnish or tomato in it. Less so, more generally.
Verdict: This traditional Punjabi dish would work better with a glass of red rather than a sparking wine.
Accompaniment – Puri (Fried flatbread)
A firm favourite in every household particularly for festive occasions. Paired beautifully with the wine and acted as a blanket against some of the harsher spice in the dishes.
Sparkling Wine Pairing:
Fox and Fox Inspiration Blanc de Gris Brut 2014
Recommended with spicier foods, particularly modern Indian. We decided to give it a go with a unique starter and more traditional Northern Indian mains that we would eat on Diwali.
Tasting / Pairing notes: Fresh and punchy aromas. Full of bold characters in flavours with attractive fruity (apple and pear) zestiness for the finish. Powerful enough to cut through most spicy style of dishes.
All in all, for a family of non-vegans it would be pretty easy for us to have a full vegan Diwali. When thinking about the menu, there were indeed times where we had to catch ourselves from making an accompaniment or a part of a dish with dairy in it, however, the evening was packed full of flavour and fizz as we would expect!
Author: Rupa Datta – [email protected]
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