Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Amazing Indian Fusion Dinner & Beer

Last week I told you about an Indian fusion dinner I was excited about attending, made even more exciting by the host enthusiastically agreeing to my request to bring beer to pair with the five courses. Emily and Nikol weighed in with suggestions and while I didn't use any of the suggestions directly, their suggestions were a great guide, steering me toward certain styles.

1st Course: Beet fritter - stem curry, mustard seed, coconut curry leaves, mint chutney, chaat yoghurt
Emily said: Widmer Marionberry Gose or Lindeman's Framboise
Nikol said: Ommegang Hennepin
Kris chose: The Bruery Sans Pagaie

3rd Course Kale salad - kale, shaved fennel, cashew, Kashmiri yoghurt, fried lentils, lemon vinaigrette
Emily said: Upright Five or The Commons Flemish Kiss
Nikol said: Dogfish Head Festina Peche or a Belgian
Kris chose: The Commons Maybelle

Being a huge fan of sours, goses and the like I stuck with the same general ideas given to pair with the beet fritter and the kale salad. While Maybelle was fine with the kale, it paled in comparison to the Sans Pagaie with the beet fritter. Here the sourness of the beer did a great job of cutting the spiciness of the fritter, sending me in a never ending (well, if my plate and glass had been never ending, too) cycle of fritter, beer, fritter, beer.

5th Course: Rose panna cota - swelled basil seed, basil infused white chocolate
Emily said: Oakshire Overcast Espresso Stout or Base Camp S'more Stout
Nikol said: Bison Organic Honey Basil (after considering a stout with coffee and chocolate notes)

Kris chose: Founders Breakfast Stout

I also didn't stray too far away from the dessert pairing, which turned out to be bad on one hand and good on the other. The stout was a bit overpowering for the delicately flavored rose panna cota but it was a perfect partner to the basil infused white chocolate.

4th Course: Lamb + citrus polenta - Rogan josh, coconut, mustard, arugula, Bengali rye, honey goat butter
Emily said: Laurelwood Free Range Red or Double Mountain IRA
Nikol said: Founders Porter (after considering a rye)
Kris chose: Boulevard Grainstorm Black Rye IPA

For the lamb and citrus polenta the black rye IPA I chose had a strong enough malt backbone to pair with the heaviest of the courses but provide more of a bite than a red or porter could. It turned out to be my second favorite pairing.

2nd Course: Butternut squash bisque - habanero, maple syrup, bengalli spices, spiced candied bacon
Emily said: Deschutes River Ale or Heater Allen Pils
Nikol said: Victory Prima Pils or Summer Love
Kris chose: Bell's Hopslam

That leads to what surprised me by being my favorite pairing - Hopslam, a 10% ABV double IPA with the butternut squash bisque. Both recommendations had been for a much lighter beer but I really wanted to use Hopslam somewhere during the dinner and it turned out that the super thick, spicer-than-I-expected bisque was just the place for it. I wasn't the only one who liked it; in fact, there were people at the table who admitted they didn't enjoy heavily hopped beers but really enjoyed this pairing.

The meal would have been stunning on its own and I can't recommend Ruchikala highly enough. She's a delightful person with some serious kitchen skills. The dinner was the highlight of the long, holiday weekend for me. I hope yours was just as good.

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