THE Story of DAHI PURI
Let me first dissect the meaning of this Indian finger food called Dahi Puri.
Dahi in Hindi means Yogurt. Puri is fried Semolina puffs (that can be found in all Indian grocery stores). There is also a thinly fried snack that is sprinkled generously atop these Puris - called Sev (also found in ready to consume packets in all Indian grocery stores).
Here is how I reminisce Dahi Puri anytime I hear about it - I remember it as this mouth-watering Indian street snack that I devour with my fingers and a few seconds after putting it in my mouth... there is a burst of so many flavors that is such a treat to my taste buds - every time!
The more I think about this snack, I am amazed at the complexity of this dish, even though the Bhaiyas (Indian street food vendors) always made it seem like it was SO simple to make and assemble this dish.
I honestly don't know what it is that makes Dahi Puri so finger licking good?
Well, if I think about it, what's not to like in fried Puris filled with a medley of tamarind & cliantro chutneys blended with some yogurt goodness, topped off with a generous amount of Sev and garnished with fresh cilantro?
I am drooling just thinking and writing about it here.
So, one night on my way back from work I am salivating thinking about the Dahi Puri and stop by the store to shop for the ingredients.
I had the chutneys freshly made that past weekend and stored in the refrigerator. So the big chunk of the work was done. All that was remaining was beating up the yogurt blend and assembling the Puris - which I meticulously finished as fast as I could and they looked like below.
The WINE paired with Dahi Puri
Right after I bought the Dahi Puri ingredients, I was also feverishly thinking about "What wine would pair with these complex mix of spices and yogurt?".
So, I stopped by Beltramos next and started walking around the wine isles. I thoughtfully wandered, savoring the labels of wines from around the world.
Then I see it, as I pass by the French wine section - Beaujolais!
Something about that was very appealing to me. Then I talk to a very friendly staff and he confirms my thoughts describing this Beaujolais villages bottle as a typical, 'light to medium bodied' Gamay but with unusually prevalent dark fruit flavors.
I hear this and think that the flavors of yogurt with tamarind can be quite difficult to pair with wines and can become a hit or a miss. But I have sipped on a few Beaujolais' in the past and I have a hunch that this will be good. So I head back home content with my new and exciting find.
I gobble down a few Puris and take a break only to sip on the Beaujolais.
This wine was PERFECT for this dish. That is it.
Just like I was told, the red fruits like the cherries', raspberries' profiles were more pronounced than a typical bottle of Beaujolais Gamay. And the yogurt mix contains a little bit of salt and sugar which is said to increase its acidity. This acidity was balanced perfectly with the mild acidity in the wine.
The Dahi Puri was crunchy and gooey. The Beaujolais was smooth and easy to drink with innate red fruit flavors.
What can I say? Is it not moments like these that make life's simple blessings so worth it?
If you look at the wine map of France, Burgundy lies in its eastern central part of France. And Beaujolais is situated south of Burgundy . The most interesting part of Beaujolais that never ceases to amaze me is its soil. The Beaujolais region's soil is mostly limestone and clay, while the Burgundy regions like Cote d'Or just 80 miles north of Beaujolais has crystalline rocks and granite soils. Such variations in the soil profiles within such short distances are unbelievable! The limestone/clay soils of Beaujolais is said to make a world of difference to Gamay grapes.
There are several wine appellations for Beaujolais wines. But Cru Beaujolais villages are among the highest and there are 10 villages in Beaujolais that fall under this category. So when you see Beaujolais Villages on the label, for the most part, the wine should be pretty good.
Beaujolais is almost 100% planted with Gamay grapes. I personally love the Gamay grapes for one simple reason - they are so multifaceted. Well what would you call a wine that is just right for both dry, hot summers, and are great (if chosen right, with moderate body) to cozy up with on cold, bitter winters? Now, that's what I call a 'cure-for-all seasons' wine!