Creamy Curry Wine Pairing
Ireland loves a good curry! Curry has been a part of the Irish food scene since nearly its inception. There are now hundreds of Indian eateries in Ireland. Curry is so undeniably popular; a dedicated award ceremony is taking place in Dublin called, “The Irish Curry Awards.” The Irish Oscars of Curry recognise hundreds of Indian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani and other Asian chefs, restaurant workers and managers for their outstanding talent in this culinary genre. I would venture to guess that if you are among the many who enjoy a good takeaway now and again; you also consider yourself a bit of a curry aficionado at this point. If you want to have some fun and experiment with replicating your favourite curry dish from home, there are a now a bevy of spices readily available.
What wine goes well with my curry?
Traditionally, the go-to for curry has been beer but wine pairs equally well, if not better. However, there could be many a thesis written on how different wines react to the variety of spices and degrees of heat in a curry. To keep it simple, narrow your choice down according to one thing — the sauce. What is the base and how much have you turned up the heat?
What about pairing wine with a creamy curry?
A mild curry is more straightforward to pair than a scorching hot one. A cream base curry calls for lighter wines, higher in acidity. A German Riesling is a perfect match. In general, Riesling is impressive in its ability to accommodate a vast array of foods on most dining tables. In a creamy curry, the Riesling’s acidity cuts through the buttery sauce, and the palate cleanses without overpowering the dish.
Creamy Prawn Indian Curry & German Riesling
This quick and easy recipe bathes prawns in a lively cream sauce with ginger vibes. The aroma of this dish paired with a chilled bottle of Bender Paulesenn Riesling guarantees to pull everyone to the table before you’re even ready to serve. It took long hours of research and walking vineyards up and down the Rheingau to bring us to the eclectic German winemaker Andreas Bender. Andreas is known to his fellow winemakers as “the Maverick of the Mosel.” He is fresh on the German wine scene but his style of Riesling is traditionally made using natural fermentation. Bender’s Paulesenn tastes a refreshing mix of orchard fruit and although dry, a hint of sweet honey apple blissfully balances out spice with a zippy and acidic finish.
4-5 tablespoons sunflower oil
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
2 small onions, thinly chopped
5 cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
4 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
6 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 red or green chili – whole (poke holes for subtle heat) or finely chopped (to turn up the heat)
4 small tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper corn
salt (to taste)
400 ml coconut milk
3 tablespoons double cream
500g large raw prawns, peeled, deveined and rinsed
Squeeze of lemon juice
Fresh coriander for garnish
Slivered almonds for topping
1. Heat a little oil in a large saucepan over low-medium heat. Add fenugreek seeds until you smell the aroma (about 30 seconds).
2. Stir in garam masala, cayenne pepper, ground cumin, ground coriander, cardamom pods, ground turmeric, and black pepper. Cook for a minute or two to release spice aromas.
3. Add a little more oil to pan and add onions, ginger, and garlic. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes, or until soft. Tip: If you prefer a paste: purée onions, ginger, garlic and tomatoes. This also lends to a thicker consistency.
4. Add tomatoes and coconut milk. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer for about 10 minutes. Tip: If you desire a thicker consistency, add 1 -2 teaspoons cornflour and/or 2-3 tablespoons of ground almonds.
5. Add prawns, allowing to simmer 3-4 minutes.
6. Turn off the heat and slowly stir in double cream. Add lemon juice and salt to taste. At this time, you may also adjust other seasonings according to taste (or heat preferences). Curry is all about experimenting with a mix of spice and method and making it your own.
Sprinkle over chopped coriander and/or sliced almonds.
Serve with basmati rice and naan bread.
When your prawns are blush in colour and look like the letter“C” — they are Cooked. If your prawns are curling into a tight “O” shape — they are on their way to Overcooked.
If chili left whole, save for garnishing.
TIPS: Pairing Wine with Curry
- Avoid bubbles and bone dry whites
- Avoid high tannin and alcohol levels
- Avoid oaky flavours