Chole Masala & Breggo Riesling
After a lifetime of meat at every dinner, I have recently wanted to explore a meatless meal on a regular basis. Meatless Monday, or Wednesday or whatever. Thanks to a fellow Minnesota Fortify! member, I have a ready source of recipes.
Shari, over at My Fancy Pantry, offers a variety of Indian oriented dishes and many are meatless. She recently posted a recipe for Chole Masala, and I decided it was time to dive in. I’ll let you go over to her blog for the recipe; I’m sure you’ll find something you want to try, too! I tried an Asparagus soup recipe she posted in May. That was a winner as well. Thanks, Shari!
I’m not sure I picked the best peppers for this recipe, I used Jalapeno and hot red peppers; it’s what I could find fresh at my local grocery store. I think I have a pepper education somewhere in my future.
This is a stove-top meal, but anytime I can use my camping dutch oven, I am a happy cook! This dutch oven has traveled on many a canoe trip and been in many fires to make stews, cornbread, and countless other meals.
After gathering all the ingredients, the meal comes together pretty quickly.
As you know from my other posts, this summer has been my season for flatbread. I love having fresh dough around. Being able to toss some dough and throw it on the grill has been a special treat. This is just regular homemade pizza dough, but it makes a passable substitute for Naan.
OK, now we come to my unique contribution to this whole meal. We opened two nice wines that we were curious to try with the spicy Chole Masala. Many people shy away from Riesling, but it is often one of the best matches for really spicy food. So, the wines were:
- A just off-dry Breggo Riesling from Anderson Valley in California.
- A very lightly oaked, lean, Chardonnay from the Chalone AVA, also in California.
Recently, I’ve been trying to try a couple of different wines with the meal to experiment with what matches best. More than two wines seems to just get confusing, so we limit it to two. Note: this isn’t to see which is the best wine, it’s to see which of two really nice wines is the best match with the meal on the table today.
The two wines were both lean, with really good, mouth watering acidity. Neither was very oaky or buttery. The Riesling offered a bit more fruitiness as compared to the Chardonnay. The biggest difference was that the Chardonnay was very dry and the Breggo Riesling had just a bit of sweetness. It was that sweetness that really offset the spiciness of the food so well. In addition, fresh fruit as a food complement seemed like a really natural match. The next time you are eating something really spicy, try opening a bottle of Riesling, you may be converted.
Breggo is a relatively small winery in Anderson Valley California. Jason Kallsen, from the Wine Company, hosted the winemaker earlier this year at a local wine shop. I really enjoyed getting to hear the winemaker, Ryan Hodgins, at the event. I picked up a couple of bottles of his wines that night, and I look forward to visiting on a future trip to Anderson Valley.
The Breggo Riesling retails for around $25. For a handmade, artisan product, this seems like a good value to me. However, if your wine budget doesn’t go over $20 per bottle, you can still find many good choices. Try a German Kabinett Riesling, or try the winner from our recent Riesling wine dinner: Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl Riesling. You can pick that one up for less than $15. Try one of these wines with your next spicy meal!