The experience of dining recently with some business acquaintances in a small village to the north of London prompted an age-old question: what is the best drink to partner a curry? For it may still surprise certain overseas readers that curry is now our number one dish on this island, ahead of such supposed staples as fish and chips and roast beef. How this came about is explained in this delightful video from the BBC
Curry: A history of one of Britain’s national dishes – BBC Ideas
Discussions were wide ranging. All agreed on one thing: even the mildest Asian dishes like Korma do not sit well with wines, which were developed to accompany European dishes. And as you go up the scale, challenging your mates to try something hotter and ever hotter, the need to slake an over stretched palate becomes ever more acute. There is water of course. And we believe you should have plenty of it, well-iced, always close at hand on these occasions.
But hey, you can’t have a really good night out inn a curry house with just water! The occasion would lack that certain je ne sais quoi, as they used to say in old Kahnpoor. So, with the benefits of hundreds of years of collective curry achievement under their belts (and what wide belts some of them now are!) we came up with this list of suggestions
Cobra Lager It not only feels Indian, with a name straight out of the pages of Rudyard Kipling, but is the standard request as it comes in a big cold, thirst-quenching bottle which somehow stands naturally among all those funny spice trays and poppadoms you see at the beginning of the evening, when you can still remember what you’re doing. At 4.5% it’s not too deadly, making it our beer of choice, even though much of it now seems to come from Burton-on Trent
Kingfisher 1857 was a turning point in Indian history for all sorts of reasons. Not least for seeing the invention of Kingfisher, which has delighted the tastebuds of thirsty Indians and Brits ever since. We always liked it because when we lived in Kingston Upon Thames our local curry house (not the posh one) served it on tap, a service amiably extended to take away patrons with a few minutes to kill while the order was prepared, Happy memories!
Singha Not every curry comes from the Indian subcontinent. Thailand has a long and honourable tradition in this regard. Many a tourist has regaled us with stories of Bangkok in the 1990s and curry restaurants were often among their tales, though not always the most interesting of such. And the establishment of Thai curry here has brought in train Singha, which to us has a marvellously unique flavour of its own, quite different from the Indian ones we have mentioned, or Eurolagers for that matter.
Well, there’s our little suggestion for tonight. Doubtless you will add to it, and if so-we’d love to here from you. In the meantime, have a happy Friday night.
#india #bangladesh #curry #cobra #singha #kingfisher
2 thoughts on “What’s the best drink to go with curry?”
Just had a curry tonight , as it happens , on Mojacar Playa . Rather splendid it was too ! Prawn purée and a lovely chicken tika masala -washed down with a wonderful Verdejo -and it was perfect. I did explain to my Dutch dining companion that CTM was now regarded as the British National Dish!
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thanks for reading blog, matey!