Hops have made their comeback, and IPAs are here to stay. They’re some of the most popular beers in the world, so if you like Indian food, you’ll want to know about some good pairings to go with your favorite hoppy brew. We can think of nothing better than the fried delicacies found on most Indian menus, such as pakoras and samosas.
Fried foods and hoppy beers were practically made for each other. The oilier, the better! Chicken tikka masala and biryani go well with a good IPA, too, but be careful with spice – hops have a sharp, bitter taste, which will only amplify the heat of your dish!
Remember, the meatier the better with these hefty brews. Porters, stouts, scotch ales, and a few others are among the heaviest beers you can find. Some can be sweet, such as a rich chocolate porter, while others are incredibly dry, like an oatmeal stout. These would call for a vindaloo or an extra spicy tikka masala, respectively. The sweeter the beer, the better it pairs with spice, while the dryer the stout, the better it pairs with a rich, sweet, saucy meal.
There are, of course, numerous other beers and numerous other Indian dishes, many of which go great together. Let’s just say these are a few of our handpicked favorites. We hope this article has you as excited to dig into your next beer and food pairing as we are! There is truly nothing better than sitting down to a crisp glass of beer and a piping hot plate of delicious Indian food. Bon appétit!
These will be your mainstay with heavy dishes like rich chicken curry or lamb/chicken vindaloo. Typically, the more malt in the beer, the better it pairs with spice, so that means these are great with hot dishes. We recommend an amber ale for rich, creamy, and sweet dishes, while a brown ale goes best with grilled meat, earthy flavors, and tandoori food. Brown ales also complement the taste of tomatoes and root vegetables, so those vegetarian curries are just asking to be enjoyed alongside.
A good wheat beer, or hefeweizen, pairs excellently with seafood, and it’s the best light beer to go with a spicy dish, too. Prawn curry, anyone? Most wheat beers are served with lemon, and many variants include citrus or other fruit infusions in the beverage itself. They do pair well with both fruits and citrus, so go ahead and load up on the chutneys when deciding which delicious meal to pair with your hef.
Biryani, on the other hand, while matching up fine flavor-wise, can be a rice heavy dish, which when combined with a wheat beer can become filling and heavy, unless you’re in the mood to binge!
The lighter beers, such as blonde ales and pilsners, pair best with lighter foods. This means salads, seafoods, appetizers, and vegetable-heavy dishes without too much spice. For Indian cuisine, is translates into paneer, mild vegetable curries, coconut-based or cashew-based curry and even a mild butter chicken would qualify.
Lagers pair well with these meals as well, and so does a good Kolsch. The richer the meal, though, the more flavorless the lighter beers become, so when we move into tikka masala territory, for instance, we’d better move on!