As a child Skeeter heard about wine and cheese pairings, also, about wine and continental food pairings. A crisp rosé or lighter varieties of Pinot Noir with white fish (yes this is still a vegetarian blog) or crabmeat, oyesters et al have always been on the wine connoisseurs description of heaven on earth and so forth. A few moons ago, there was much debate on Indian food being paired with wine. Great stories were penned around the Indian food and wine combo.
All this while Skeety thought, dadi (grandmom) always said khaane naal paani ni peen da(with your food don’t take water). Wonder where that came from or where it went. Times are certainly changing, and how!
Skeeter attended a food and tea pairing event at The Park hosted by Ty-phoo
tea. TV show host and chef/owner at Aurus, Vicky Ratnani,
led the show. Vicky has given an edge to vegetarian food in India through his food show Vicky goes Veg where he shows how much vegetarian variety can one enjoy with the relatively new vegetables (think Zucchini, Red/Yellow/Orange peppers, Broccoli) that are being sold by the neighbourhood vendor these days. Also, how the traditional ingredients can be adapted to new world recipes.
At the Ty-phoo event, Vicky went one step further by demonstrating, how to cook with tea and how to pair food with tea.
Traditionally, in North Indian cuisine, we steep a black teabag with chole (chickpeas) to give them the blackish/brownish tinge. Also, we often pair chai and samosa. This is perhaps the oldest tea and food pairing Skeety can think of. An often heard 4 o clock anectode is…’chai aur samose ho jaayein'(let us have tea with samosas). Whether you are spending an afternoon at work, at home or with 4pm guests, this is one hit pair.
With the new variety of teas hitting the supermarket shelves teatime is only becoming more and more enjoyable. So, sit back and infuse your foods with tea or sip it along with your food (yes there are health benefits and jazz).
For some ‘out-of-the-pot’ pairings, Vicky served well-assembled Harissa spiced grilled veggies, mint and rocket leaf cous cous, chickpea puree with Moroccan Mint tea. Peppered cottage cheese (infused with a Ty-phoo Masala tea bag) was served with a side of masala mashed pot and pickled cucumber ribbons.
Skeety particularly loves and recommends an orange infusion with a cinnamon stick for a tangy, robust flavour. Drink it as is or pair with your favourite food. Better still, steep it, chill it and add a dash of gin or vodka. Other infusions available are Black Currant and Lemon & Lime Zest.
If any of the readers would like to try making the above mentioned dishes by Vicky Ratnani, drop me a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org