wine & curry: from foes to friends | OUTVisions for LGBT Professionals

wine & curry: from foes to friends

pairings made easy

wine & curry: from foes to friends
therese degrasse

The thought of pairing curry or spicy dishes used to be a daunting task with hosts often defaulting to beer as the standard go to.  Contrary to popular belief, spicy foods and curry can be paired with wine. I have included some simple recipes along with pairings so that you can test this controversial theory for yourself.

Simple & Quick Chicken Tikka

Yields 6 Portions

For marinated chicken:
3lbs boneless skinless chicken breast cut into cubes
2 cup full fat plain yogurt
1 tbsp tikka masala paste
zest and juice of
1 lime
1 clove crushed garlic
1 tsp olive oil
Pinch salt and pepper

Toss all ingredients and refrigerate overnight

Curry Sauce

1 tbsp peanut oil
1 tbsp vegetable oil
(have extra on hand)
1 medium onion,
finely minced
1 tbsp grated ginger
2 cloves crushed garlic
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp tikka masala chicken
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/3 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp chili flakes
4 cups tomato puree
1 cup water
1 cup heavy cream

Garnishes: fresh coriander, coconut, cashews, hot fresh sliced chilies

Accompaniments: rice, naan or poppadums

Note:  This is a mild recipe, if you enjoy spice feel free to increase the amounts listed above.
In a sauce pot heat vegetable oil and peanut oil over medium heat. Lightly brown onions, ginger and garlic. Add spices and a few drops of vegetable oil until a paste is formed, add chicken and continue to cook for 5 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 45 minutes.  Serve hot with garnishes and accompaniments listed above.

Suggested Wine Pairing: Hidden Bench Estate 2013 Riesling

This aromatic wine with just a touch of lime and lemon cut through the rich notes of the Tikka allowing it to be elevated in flavour and pleasing on the palate.

Red Curry Shrimp Salad

Yields 6 portions

1 cup full fat coconut
2 tbsp peanut butter
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp red curry paste
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp tamari

Blend all ingredients until frothy and smooth.

Salad Base:

1 ripe mango, diced
1/2 red pepper cut
into strips
1 avocado, sliced
3 spring onions,
finely minced
1/3 cup minced cilantro
1/3 cup toasted cashews
24 chilled poached shrimp
Sprouts or mini greens for garnish

Garnishes: Thai Basil, lime wedges

Arrange the base of your salad on a platter of your liking arranging shrimp on top, drizzle with dressing.

Suggested Wine Pairing: Fielding Estate Winery 2013 Riesling

The sweet notes in this wine offset the spice of the red curry and bring about an even more vibrant freshness to this dish.

Singapore Chilled Noodles 

Yields 6 portions

Chilled Noodle Base

1 lbs cooked chow Mein noodles
1 cup cooked/cooled broccoli, cut into small flowerets
1 cup Enoki mushrooms (sold at most large grocery stores)
2 cups cooked shiitake mushrooms
3 spring onions, cut on a bias
1/2 red pepper cut into diced

Tossed all ingredients in a bowl, set aside


3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
Juice of 1 orange
2 tbsps yellow curry
1 clove of crushed garlic
1 tsp of grated garlic
1/2 tsp chili paste
1 tbsp mirin

Whisk ingredients together and refrigerate for 2 hours. Pour dressing over noodles and serve immediately.

Suggested Wine Pairing: The Good Earth Winery 2012 Sauvignon Blanc

This versatile wine goes with almost anything.  Its subtle flavour offsets the chili and ginger in this dish while enhances the sweet flavours for a splendid balance.

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Authortherese degrasse

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