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Nine Hills Launches 'Easy Guide to Pairing Indian Food & Wine' by Michael Swamy
What if we gave you a bowl of our very own baigan bharta and a sweet and aromatic glass of Chenin Blanc or a Viognier along with it? Or have you ever thought of sipping some Chardonnay along with some puri sabji? For those who are caught in a dilemma, this is actually simply possible if you go by Chef Michael Swamy’s cookbook titled ‘Guide to Pairing Indian Food and Wine’.
The first of its kind book ever, was launched by Seagram’s Nine Hills & Om Books International at Cafe Delhi Heights, Gurgaon recently.
As more and more Indians are now taking to enjoying a glass of wine in the evenings, the book comes as an answer to the dilemma of how to pair our own popular Indian cuisine with this new found enjoyment. And with this, Indian cuisine rightfully gets its due and privilege of being paired and served on the same table with the graceful and stylish wine.
The cookbook offers an assortment of Indian as well as Continental food recipes put together by Swamy, along with wine pairing suggestions for each recipe so you just can’t go wrong. Some of the delicacies on the list include Apricot Biryani, Pondicherry-styled Scallops, Clam Coconut Curry, and Shahi Tukda. Interestingly, the book obligingly seems to dispel all myths on wine and its pairing with Indian food by providing cooking alternatives with different cuisines across India. After all how many of us know that red wines are a natural foil for meat dishes, and one practically cannot go wrong in choosing any full-bodied red wine to pair with a traditional mutton do pyaza or rogan josh? Even more, hints of citrus in a Chenin Blanc or Sauvignon Blanc are perfect for sea food specials such as crispy pepper prawns and a fiery crab masala.
The guests who attended the event were in for a pleasure when they witnessed a live cooking demo by the pretty Maria Goretti, former VJ and food enthusiast and Chef Swamy at Café Delhi Heights, Gurgaon.
Picking one of his famous recipe from the book, the chef gave a lively show of cooking Roast Chicken in Pickling Spices and Rocket Salad along with a sampling of a wine-paired menu put together by him. A graduate of the prestigious Cordon Bleu Culinary School, London, Michael has worked with several Michelin Chefs before pursuing his career in Food Styling and Photography – an art which he uses effectively in changing the way people look at food.
Says Swamy,"I have tried pairing Indian food with wine for several years. And finally I seem to have cracked the code. This book allows me to share this knowledge and know-how with other wine enthusiasts and food lovers, by taking it a step further and using wine in cooking Indian food. I hope and feel that pairing Indian food with wine and including wine in recipes will definitely radically alter the dimensions of what we know as Modern Indian Cuisine and put Indian cuisine on the global culinary map."
With the world cuisine at one’s doorstep, people are keen to learn about the subtler art of wine tasting, wine-drinking, and wine pairing. Guide to Pairing Indian Food and Wine is a ready reckoner for the starter, as well as for those who never cease to experiment with food. And, as I found out in my home kitchen, the results are outstanding. What better way to go democratic with wine. Says Publisher Ajay Mago who was present at the launch.
The event also saw the presence of Pernod Ricard India’s Senior Manager, Adrian Pinto who states “The book is representative of our plans to engage, educate and enthral the Indian wine drinker in new ways. Seagram’s Nine Hills has always been known for its variety of quality and award-winning wines, and now it’s time to bring the experience to the consumer in their homes.”
By - Poonam Thapa