If you live in Northern England, the chances are that if you go to a pub this weekend, it may be your last visit in a while.
We’ll know shortly what further restrictions are being put in place to slow the spread of Covid-19, but it’s no secret that pubs closing for a while is one of the key measures which will be announced.
So, whether you are having a few in your village local, or slightly more in a town centre or pub, make the most of it this weekend, but please remember to respect social distancing measures.
If someone had told you a year ago that in October 2020, you wouldn’t be able to go to the pub, they would have looked at you like you had already had too many in said pub.
But, given we are already used to pub, restaurant, shop, school closures, the prospect of not going to the boozer for a while is no longer a surprise.
It’s just as well that there’s never been a better time to be a home drinker. Gone are the days where a four-pack of Norseman (people of an age in the North will know!) from the off-licence was the best you could do, or if you got lucky and had a decent ‘offy’ you may have walked out with something as extravagant as Hofmeister!
Now, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to good beer; whether it’s a Craft IPA from the USA, crisp pilsner from Germany or a Belgian sour.
And you can now even get the beer experience in the home by pulling your own pint thanks to home dispensing machines like the Perfect Draft, Sub and Blade – the only difference is you don’t need to wait your turn at the bar to get your drink!
But Chef Chris, we hear you say, you are into paragraph 9 of this week’s blog and there has been no reference to food and in particular Indian food, remember, your focus for October?
And you be correct dear blog reader, but there’s a reason for the long set up.
Yes, you guessed it, that’s because beer and Indian food go together like Ant and Dec, Morecambe and Wise and, well, you get the drift. They are a fine pairing.
And, again, gone are the days where this mean you washed down a vindaloo with a fizzy pint of Kingfisher in a restaurant or at home.
Now, you can actually pair beer with your curry of choice, just as you can with wine.
So, if you like your curries hot, then it’s not lager you should be drinking but brown ales, porters, and wheat beer. These complement the heat of the curry and go particularly well with dark meats like lamb and beef.
If you are going for a curry for taste, rather than spice, then a hoppy lager or Indian Pale Ale is what you need, especially if you are having chicken, pork or vegetarian.
The recipe I have made below is lovely paired with a pale ale, something like Sierra Nevada or Lagunitas.
I forgot to mention that it’s International Beer and Pizza Day today (9th October). And while this is a great pairing also, we’re doing Italian in November, so I am sure the organisers won’t mind my little twist, I mean who is going to argue with beer and curry?
Chicken Hariyali with homemade roti’s and Bombay Aloo
- 700g par boiled diced potatoes
- 2tsp cumin seed
- 1tbsp salt
- Pinch of chilli powder
- 1tsp turmeric
- 1tsp cumin powder
- 1.5tsp garam masala
- 270g chopped tomatoes
- 25g minced ginger puree
- 30g minced garlic puree
- 80g ghee, melted butter or rapeseed oil
- 350g sliced onion
- 1/2tsp mustard seeds
In a large saucepan heat up ghee then add your potatoes and start cooking to get nice crispy edges. Remove from the pan and start frying the sliced onions, adding a little extra ghee if needed. Once the onions are caramelised add the spices, and the purees and cook to release their flavour. Then add the chopped tomatoes and put the potatoes back in, cook for about 20 minutes on a low heat until the potatoes are tender and full of flavour.
- 190g wholemeal flour
- 190g plain flour
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 4tbsp ghee or melted butter (plus extra for cooking)
- 350g warm water
Put a flat cast iron pan on a high heat. In a kitchen mixer with dough hook attached add all ingredients and mix until you have a nice pliable dough. Allow to rest for half an hour before separating into 60g balls. Roll out into disks on a floured surface trying to get them as thin as possible. Brush with ghee and cook each side until they start to puff up with a charred surface. When cooked cover with a kitchen T-towel to keep warm and soft.
Hariyali chicken kebabs
- 20g chopped mint
- 70g chopped coriander stalk included
- 30g diced green chilli
- 40g minced ginger
- 60g minced garlic
- 25g lime juice
- 20g rapeseed oil
- 16g caster sugar
- 12g salt
- 120g natural yoghurt
- 6 chicken breasts diced into 3 cm cubes
- 6-8 bamboo skewers soaked in cold water
Put the diced chicken breasts into a bowl and put the other ingredients into a food processor and blend together. Pour over the chicken and mix together making sure every piece of meat is covered. Leave for a minimum of one hour but best for 24 hours. Place a large chargrill pan on a high heat, load up the skewers with the marinated chicken and chargrill until cooked all the way through and the edges are caramelised. Place in the middle of the table and let everyone dig into the feast serve with your choice of condiments and paired beer!