Who would have guessed that I was going to be cooking curry once every week? Like me, Italians born and bred in Tuscany usually use only black pepper, oregano, sage, and rosemary. But now coriander, fenugreek, cardamom, cumin, turmeric (to name a few) are getting a bigger space in the kitchen stash. In a time when people seem to eat pizza every time – at least in London – it’s good to get your veggie tasty and hot as often as you can.
The spice game has improved significantly.
This time I wanted to try a korma style curry with a recipe a previous pub colleague gave me. This dish originally included cashew nuts, sheep yoghurt and chicken. Instead, I went for coconut milk and coconut cream while the vegetables are boiling. What did we cook then? A delicious ‘Cauliflower and chickpeas vegan korma’.
Served with spicy sev and chevdo sprinkled on top; on the side, long-grain rice, A LOT of chopped coriander and homemade naan bread. The bright red colour comes from the sauce of God: Marie Sharp’s Habanero Pepper Sauce sold by the wonderful South London shop Hop Burns & Black. This sauce is truly delicious. Although a perfect companion for BBQ food, this unique carrot and habanero blend achieves the perfect balance between flavour and heat and works well with curries.
I’ve decided to pair this dish with Beak Brewery ‘Power‘, in the brewer’s words: “A love letter to 1980s East Coast lagers“.
This is the first beer I’m trying from this brewery. However, I know they are improving their
recognition massively, especially with contemporary hoppy beers. I couldn’t resist a contemporary Vienna Lager.
‘Power‘ is brewed with heritage Hana Vienna malt for clean and smooth freshly-baked bread notes. The hops are also intriguing: Mandarina Bavaria, Saaz and Centennial hops for flavours of grapefruit, Seville marmalade, heather honey and fresh pine needles. This beer style typically has a nutty flavour. The caramel provides a slight hint of sweetness, although it’s not overpowering.
Hoppy Amber Lagers are an exciting combination of spicy food. In South-East Asia and Central America, the consumption of malt-driven lagers goes well with spicy foods, with the sweetness counteracting the heat.
Our beer choice worked well with the heavily spiced, boldly flavoured dish I made: it tastes irresistible like caramel. It is rich in the mouth, almost tongue-coating, with the hops adding a subtlest, anchoring fruity character and a light, refreshing bitterness.
Ah, we also made homemade naan! 🙂
See you for the next food + beer pairing at home!!