Much like wine and cheese in France, the combination of Indian food and beer is proudly interwoven into the fabric of British society.
It’s a union popularised by British culinary leaders such as Dave Lister. Yet while a vindaloo and nine pints of Cobra is a staple for many a Friday night up and down the land, there are levels to it.
Head chef Ashwani at Asha’s embraces the fusion of Indian spices and cooking techniques with a variety of seasonal British flavours to create some uniquely amazing dishes.
To celebrate their summer menu, Asha’s has been hosting a series of paired dining events to do just that.
I attended their last event, a guinea fowl and cider evening, which is far from orthodox as a pairing. Yet I loved every dish we had.
I’d never actually had guinea fowl before (assuming, like any meat I’d never tried, it was probably like chicken, but gamier), and certainly had never thought of combining Indian food with cider. It was a surprisingly delicious revelation for me.
This time around, Asha’s have teamed up with Manchester-based craft beer brewer ShinDigger to create a four-course paired menu to illustrate the best of Indian cooking with an ostensibly Mancunian twist.
Taking place on Wednesday and Thursday at Asha’s, the first dish on chef Ashwari’s menu will be lentil fritter with sweet yoghurt and asparagus. This will be paired with ShinDigger Lager, a clean, soft and light easy-drinking pilsner.
Next up is malai parcha – chicken supreme with mizuna, delicious-sounding banana candied ginger, mint and beer relish. The beer match for this dish is Mango Unchained, a session IPA blended with mango and pineapple. A tropical fruit salad of a beer to complement the flavours of the dish.
This will be followed by grilled swordfish tikka with amaranth oil, crispy kale, cocoa and apricot relish, washed down with Session Light and Refreshing, a session IPA with huge tropical notes from four varieties of American and Australian hops.
No meal is complete without dessert, and this one sounds a cracker – sweet, creamy caramel cheesecake with blueberry jelly, brazil nut crumble and fragrant apple blossom.
If you’ve never had beer with pudding before, here’s your chance, as the cheesecake is paired with Everything’s Peachy, a session IPA blended with natural peach extract.
It certainly sounds peachy to us.
The ShinDigger dinners will take place Wednesday 22nd and Thursday 23rd August from 7pm. Tickets are priced at £32.93 for four courses paired with four Mancunian beers.