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Alcohol in Indian Cooking


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Do any of your indian or indian inspired dishes use alcohol? Do tell me about it, I would like to explore this a bit. The only thing I ever use is Feni or Cashew nut wine (or in desparation my hubby's vodka) when I make some Goan food. it is my understanding that a lot of traditional dishes in India do not use alcohol .... do your indian inspired ones?

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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I have half a dozen Indian cookbooks and I don't think there's a single recipe containing alcohol in any one of them. Nor do I recall ever eating a dish containing alcohol in any Indian restaurant. Wine vinegar is used in some recipes but that's about as close as it gets.

Some indian restaurants in London are producing food to please Michelin star inspectors-Frenchifying in other words. They might use alcohol along the line somewhere but I don't know for sure.

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I have half a dozen Indian cookbooks and I don't think there's a single recipe containing alcohol in any one of them. Nor do I recall ever eating a dish containing alcohol in any Indian restaurant. Wine vinegar is used in some recipes  but that's about as close as it gets.

Some indian restaurants in London are producing food to please Michelin star inspectors-Frenchifying in other words. They might use alcohol along the line somewhere but I don't know for sure.

The only thing Tonyfinch I have seen is the cashew nut wine. I guess I am hoping for non traditional versions maybe. Have you ever used it?

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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  • 4 weeks later...
Do any of your indian or indian inspired dishes use alcohol? Do tell me about it

In my search for new items to add to this years menu for my takeaway I spoke today to my friend Kayani from Glasgow (he's going to have a look at egullet after our discussion) and he suggested a dish they have called Sharabi.

Apparently the word itself means drink and the dish is created by adding a glass of whisky to the finished curry. I don't know how much but I aim to experiment with varying amounts this evening.

I'll let you know how it turned out if you are interested.

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Do any of your indian or indian inspired dishes use alcohol? Do tell me about it

In my search for new items to add to this years menu for my takeaway I spoke today to my friend Kayani from Glasgow (he's going to have a look at egullet after our discussion) and he suggested a dish they have called Sharabi.

Apparently the word itself means drink and the dish is created by adding a glass of whisky to the finished curry. I don't know how much but I aim to experiment with varying amounts this evening.

I'll let you know how it turned out if you are interested.

Sharabi is the Hindi word for someone who partakes in drinking alcohol.

And there are kebabs that I have heard of people making with the initial marinating being in alcohol in

addition to the yogurt and spices. And then a final immersion in whisky and then a flambé.

It would be great to hear more about those sharabi curries you experiment with. Keep us posted.

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....... The only thing I ever use is Feni or Cashew nut wine (or in desparation my hubby's vodka) ........

Pray tell me where did you get Feni in dC ? Or for that matter in the US ? I would like a bottle or two, not for cooking mind you :smile:

anil

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....... The only thing I ever use is Feni or Cashew nut wine (or in desparation my hubby's vodka) ........

Pray tell me where did you get Feni in dC ? Or for that matter in the US ? I would like a bottle or two, not for cooking mind you :smile:

I got some from Goa.

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There are none. Having said that, I have seen unothrodox on-the-fly variations done in dhabas as well as some bewda-joints (bewda = country liquor)

In dhabas, the meat curry (mutton,chicken...) is re-doused with XXX-RUM, and thaka done just before serving to the tired truck-drivers and road travellers.

In the bewda joints it is done to just tenderize and marinate tough meats, which are then fried and served with the bada-peg .....

This ofcourse is from my recollection of way way back when I was young...

anil

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There are none. Having said that, I have seen unothrodox on-the-fly variations done in dhabas as well as some bewda-joints (bewda = country liquor)

In dhabas, the meat curry (mutton,chicken...)  is re-doused with XXX-RUM, and thaka done just before serving to the tired truck-drivers and road travellers.

In the bewda joints it is done to just tenderize and marinate tough meats, which are then fried and served with the bada-peg .....

This ofcourse is from my recollection of way way back when I was young...

And I think it is still the same Anil.

One hardly ever sees alcohol in Indian cooking.

Chefs that are making fusion food and french food and other western dishes use them with great aplomb, but only bewdas are likely to use them for Indian cooking.

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It would be great to  hear more about those sharabi curries you experiment with.

Firstly, Suvir, is there another name I could use for drink? I mentioned my attempts at this dish to my friend Asif this afternoon, and he told me it wasn't a complimentary way to refer to someone drinking. Is it more of a putdown? Or even a reference to a drunk?

Secondly, the resulting taste of adding whisky to the curry was quite odd. I tried with Glen Moray (single malt aged in chardonay casks) and whilst it was ok, I didn't think it great. I'm going to try again using a good blend with a fuller flavour, perhaps the Antiquary. Whilst it didn't go well first time, I did think it warranted at least another few tries with different whisky as there seems to be potential for a good result.

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It would be great to  hear more about those sharabi curries you experiment with.

Firstly, Suvir, is there another name I could use for drink? I mentioned my attempts at this dish to my friend Asif this afternoon, and he told me it wasn't a complimentary way to refer to someone drinking. Is it more of a putdown? Or even a reference to a drunk?

Secondly, the resulting taste of adding whisky to the curry was quite odd. I tried with Glen Moray (single malt aged in chardonay casks) and whilst it was ok, I didn't think it great. I'm going to try again using a good blend with a fuller flavour, perhaps the Antiquary. Whilst it didn't go well first time, I did think it warranted at least another few tries with different whisky as there seems to be potential for a good result.

Sharaabi is the word for someone that drinks.

And yet it does have the connotation of ascribing a drinking habit to the one addressed as such.

You should explain what you want to do here. If you are naming a dish sharabi, I would not worry, that should have no negative connotation. But if you are wanting to call a person sharabi, that could be taken as a slanderous attack on another character.

If you can explain what you want to do with the word, I can try and find another that would be better.

Keep us posted with your experiment with whisky and curries.

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As a related question, how well does the whiskey go when served alongside the Indian food? I've had mixed results from beers, with most meals overwhelming lagers, but I've also had several Belgian ales that have stood up nicely and complemented the meals. Do Scottish ales and whiskeys hold up well against Indian food?

"Long live democracy, free speech and the '69 Mets; all improbable, glorious miracles that I have always believed in."

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As a related question, how well does the whiskey go when served alongside the Indian food?  I've had mixed results from beers, with most meals overwhelming lagers, but I've also had several Belgian ales that have stood up nicely and complemented the meals.  Do Scottish ales and whiskeys hold up well against Indian food?

Most Indians think so.

Whisky and Single Malts are hugely popular with Indians.

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