Punjabi Dinner at Hambledon Vineyard

Vineyard

 

Dinner by Sanjha at Hambledon Vineyard
East Street, Hambledon PO7 4RY

Thursday 13 December 2018

6.00pm for winery tour

Carriages 10:00pm

Dress: Jacket (tie optional) with ribbons

We are delighted to present an unique event blending an English vineyard with true Punjabi cuisine.

Hambledon was the first commercial English vineyard, established in 1952, and has won many awards for their sparkling wines both in UK and internationally, beating many famous champagne houses in blind tastings. It is situated in the village of Hambledon, which is also the cradle of cricket that was founded here in 1750.

Sanjha, meaning “to share” in Punjabi, was started 10 years ago by Amarjot Singh Randhawa.  Amarjot, a hotel management graduate from Chandigarh in Punjab India, is the proprietor and the creative chef behind opening the authentic Punjabi restaurant in Southampton. Being a chef himself Amar has experience in food & service departments in Indian, Thai, and Japanese Tepenyaki. He has agreed to cater this evening away from his restaurant in Southampton and within the vineyard facilities at Hambledon.

The evening of 13 December 2018 will commence at 6.00 pm, and we shall be taken on a short tour of the winery showing you the journey from must to bottle. We shall then be entertained in the viewing gallery with award winning Hambledon Rose and Canapés, followed by a candlelit dinner in the tasting room of finest Punjabi cuisine, combined with wines from the world which will be paired with the taste and flavours of the food.

The cost is £50 for members and £55 for guests.

Regional Cuisines of India

It is recommended that to appreciate the tastes and flavours of Indian cuisines one has to understand the mode of preparation of the food, the use of ingredients and the historical reasons as to how and why peoples’ understanding of Indian cuisines has developed.

There are 29 states in federal India with a population of 1.3 billion and 32 distinct main cuisines, more than all of Europe. These cuisines then have area variations within each state. Punjab, which means land of five rivers, is situated in northern India. Punjabi cuisine has been influenced by Persian, Afghani and Central Asian cuisines which are light to moderate in spice content. This was further enhanced by Turkish influences with the arrival of the Moghuls and added an extra spiciness to Punjabi cuisine.

In the times of post-partition of India Punjabis were dispersed across the world and began to introduce the new cooking styles such as Tandoori and Balti Foods, and to spread new range of flavours. Today whenever or wherever we speak of Indian food one of the first things which come to our mind is Tandoori food, rich Sauces and Breads.

As members and enthusiasts of an International Association of Gastronomy who share the same values of quality, fine dining, the encouragement of the culinary arts and the pleasures of the table, it behoves us to find good pairing of international wines with food from a land that does not have that indigenous culture. Curiously, in India grapes have been grown and wine made for centuries.

Indian cuisines are centuries old, and like anywhere else in the world, the product of local ingredients, climates, cultures and societies. It is a vast area of land, often described as a sub-continent, it spans tropical climate in the south near the Equator to the high Alpine in the north along the Himalayas. The indigenous vegetation likewise varies from tropical vegetables including spices and fruits in the south to temperate and cold climate vegetables, spices and fruits in the north. Further the oils derived from these plants vary according to each region; the south uses more palm oil, middle tends to use peanut oil while the north uses butter and mustard oil. Eastern areas use very little oil while the western areas use butter and rapeseed oil.  The ingredients thus alter the taste, texture and flavours of foods, giving each region their unique cuisine; Punjabi dishes are renowned for being rich, creamy and smoothly blended.

In context of land area, India would stretch from Moscow in the east to Wales in the west, southern Scandinavia in the north to Sicily in the south. 95% of ‘Indian’ restaurants in the UK are operated by Bangladeshi people who are from the east of the subcontinent. They have created a cuisine which is a fusion of dishes from the central, north and west of the subcontinent but sadly does not represent the genuine cuisines of those areas. Sadly for the purists that food has become recognised as ‘Indian’ in UK. In Western terms Muscovites are serving a mash of European cuisines in UK as ‘European’ food.

The use of spices and the variety of spices available for cooking is legendary in Indian cuisines. However, spices contain their flavours within their essential oils. Therefore, the spice flavours can only be extracted successfully using cooking oils and fats. Thus, the preparation of the food has a step where the use of spices, with judicious use of oil, is necessary to extract flavours which then are blended seamlessly with other ingredients. Adding powdered spices to cooking food does not extract those flavours successfully.

Essentially the use of spices in Indian cuisine is a lesson in pharmacy. All food are crude medicines. Spices as foods are more concentrated in medicinal compounds, and all foods have some physiological effect some of which can be unpleasant; the ancients learnt that certain spices in those dishes reduced or minimised the unpleasant effects. They also learnt that it is better to emulsify their dishes with drinks to make food even more pleasant - ironically water-based drinks such as our beers made side effects worse because of the high water and low alcohol content whereas high alcohol emulsifies the oils thus reducing those effects.

Traditionally Keralans and Tamils are usually abstemious in their alcohol intake and would have milk, sweet milky tea or a yogurt-based drink as an emulsifier. As a substitute for alcohol generated emulsifiers that vacuum has often been filled with chutneys and other sauces, which add acid and sweetness; spices, which provide tannins. The challenge is to figure out how wine can bring balance to a dish.

To explain the British love of beer with curry one must recall that when the British first arrived in Southern India trading as The East India Company they were not used to the cuisines of the area.  The company started to import beer to fill the ships coming to India. The ship’s passage took over six months and what started a pale Burton Ale at the start of voyage ended up a dark sweetish Porter after travelling through the tropics in rolling sailing ships which they labelled IPA- India Pale Ale. Chilled, it was the preferred drink before a meal followed by Port or Whisky – not water. When the British started to move around in India, most of which didn’t have a tradition of drinking alcohol with food, they took Scotch and beer with them.  Beer wiped out the spices, destroyed the flavours and appeared to cool. To the British, who were not familiar with food and hot temperatures of the area, that was great.

Unfortunately, the English Indian Curry Houses were generally opened by Bangladeshis, who, normally being Muslims would not drink alcohol and didn’t fully understand how wine could enhance the flavours of the food. Wine was not so frequently drunk in the UK during the 60’s and 70’s. Beer was the most convenient option that was offered. Regrettably it has now entered the psyche that a cooling glass of beer is what should be consumed with food from the sub- continent!

Menu

Canapes (in the viewing gallery)

Bhel Puri

Diced vegetables, puffed rice and tangy tamarind sauce

Masala Murgi tikka

Bite sized chicken pieces marinated in ginger, garlic, green chili and yogurt

Hara bhara kebab

Deep fried diced vegetables, spinach, peas and corn skewers with chutney

Dinner (in the tasting room around 7.00 pm)

Starters

Mirchi Jhinga

Deep fried crispy tiger prawns with peppers and spring onions

Seekh kebab

Spiced minced lamb skewer baked in at Tandoor

Mirchi vada Dahi

Battered chilies stuffed with spicy potato filling with yogurt

Pindi Chole

Tangy chickpeas with Carom, a speciality of Rawalpindi

Punjabi Cocktail samosa

Crisp triangular short crust pastry stuffed with spicy potato and peas

Amuse Bouche

Dahi Puri

Hollow semolina balls filled with sweet yogurt, tamarind chutney, mint and fresh coriander

Main Course

Bhér Saag

Spinach with cubes of succulent marinated lamb

Murgi Tikka sizzler

Chicken pieces marinated in ginger, garlic and yogurt served on hot griddle

Baigan bhaji

Roasted aubergines mashed in spicy sauce

Dal makhni

Black lentils cooked in butter and cream

Jeera pulao

Rice cooked with cumin

Naan

Multi-layered traditional bread cooked in a tandoor

Boondi raita

Spiced yogurt with crunchy gram flour beads

Sorbet

Santra ethey elachi Sōbara

Clementine and cardamom sorbet

Pudding

Umb Kulfi

Mango ice cream dessert

Indian Regional Cuisines

Kay Knowles and Alastair McLean

Marianne Clemmetsen and Allan Jack

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Murgi Tikka sizzler

Peter Cole and Sue La Hive

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