A curry may not be complete without a cider to wash it down, as Richard McComb discovers.
There are food and drink matches made in heaven, like roast beef and claret, and Roquefort cheese with Sauternes.
But what’s the best tipple to knock back with a curry?
A Birmingham-based cider-maker thinks its summery drink offers the ideal combination for spicy food, giving diners taste and cleansing refreshment.
Gordon Johncox, marketing director at Aston Manor, said: “Wine or beer is usually the drink of choice when it comes to enjoying a meal, but what many people don’t know is that cider is a perfect drink to complement spicy flavours.”
Mr Johncox said a clean, crisp cider made with bittersweet cider apples, like Knights Premium Reserve, is an excellent match with Indian cuisine. The blend in Knights Premium gives the drink sufficient bite to balance out spice and heat and deliver refreshment.
For Thai curries, a more rounded drink with a rich fruit character offers enough contrast and structure to cope with the flavour, such as Malvern Gold, a lightly sparkling cider.
For a medium-spiced dish like rogan josh, with its rich sauce, it is important to have a cider with sufficient body to not be overwhelmed and also to have sufficient character to deliver both refreshment and flavour to enhance the experience. “The versatility and credentials of Kingstone Press come to the fore, or for a special occasion Malvern Oak,” said Mr Johncox.
Aktar Islam, head chef at Lasan, is a convert to pairing cider with Indian dishes. He said: “Intensely flavoured artisan bottled cider is a joy to bring to the dining table. With clean, complex, fruity tastes, ciders can balance out spice and heat, without overpowering the overall flavour.”
Aktar has created a lamb curry that works well with locally produced cider.