Why Indian Restaurants are kind to non-alcoholic drinkers. When you decide for whatever reason to go 0.0% abv alcohol free drinking, eating out can be a challenge if you’re with friends where alcohol is part of the experience. I have to stay with those words from my consultant “more drink and you die”, well he was politer than that as you can imagine but he did not need to be, as I was sold.
I am all for choice but there are some restaurants where the alcohol free drinks’ menu leaves little to the imagination or should I say you need imagination. ( Yes that’s more like it ! ). In my quest for finding a choice I have to say Indian restaurants on balance offer more than most.
However alcoholic drinks’ are an industry in Indian so double check the 0.0 abv !
We do love curry – but what about the alcohol?
I do love a curry , ironically when I was in hospital I was suffering from malnutrition as my liver was shutting down and my stomach was infected. So I was given strict instructions on what I could eat and what I could not eat.
Guess what curry was on the list so my heart started singing and my cravings kicked in ( you know when you start dreaming about food) so I was on a mission to visit my favorite Indian Restaurant Manchester UK.
Curry is designed to go with a cool beer I’m sure but the country has developed several other options that really do make eating an Indian meal out a much more rewarding experience.
Hopefully more establishments will realize this that there are customers who are under served but also a customer base that could be well and truly looked after and attracted.
The non side and this is true in many of my blogs, you have to ask for what you sometimes, plus don’t care what anyone else thinks it is your body and your choice regardless of which one that is.
Indian Lassi Drink
The most popular and traditional Yogurt based drink, Lassi originates in the Punjab region and I personally find it very cooling. Fellow diners get so fascinated by it that it also takes the focus off your for not having an alcoholic drink in your hand. Sad I know but I am also keen to write about reality. Other varieties I’ve seen include Mango Lassi,Sweet lassi and Bhang lassi all similar but with different tastes.
The history is interesting as apparently it comes from a time before we had fridges when Punjabi farmers mixed their milk with sugar and curd, and kept the mix in clay pots. Lassi is often flavored with a variety of fresh herbs, different spices, fruits, and flower essences.
It can be mixed with ice and served as an accompaniment to hot and spicy dishes and to be honest it helps the palate as it’s very soothing, especially if I have gone for the spicy end of the dishes like I do so lamb jhali.
Sweet lassi is also on the menu sometimes and called metha lassi and according to my very knowledgeable taxi driver who should seriously write a book it contains ginger, mint, rosewater, and exotic fruits like mango but to be honest I have seen lots of varieties.
Nam keen lassi is the salty version of lassi so I tend to avoid it as with liver issues you have to be sensitive to salt but I have had a sip and it is flavored with the likes of ground black pepper, garlic, and roasted cumin seeds.
Another popular variety is the so-called bhang lassi which I don’t often see which is flower based and it is mostly drunk during Indian festivals like Mahashivratri. Other varieties I’ve seen include Mango Lassi,Sweet lassi and Bhang lassi all similar but with different tastes.
Indian Masala Chai Tea
Tea is the most famous and flavored beverage in India, made by black tea with a mixture of aromatic Indian spices and herbs. From what I am told, Chaiwala is on most of the streets or small roadside shops in India but in Europe many of the restaurants have it on offer and as it is mainstay with Indian food asking for a tea with your food is totally in keeping with eating and drinking when out and about.
Cobra Zero saves the day
So what about when you are out on a Friday night for a curry which is bizarrely a very British thing to do and all your family, friends and mates are drinking beer. The pressure is on well in some not all Indian restaurants the solution is easy ask for a Cobra Beer Zero or sometimes known as Cobra Non Alcoholic Beer.
I have learned that it’s not always displayed on a drink menu like many restaurants where you have to go on a hunt. If your life depends on it or you are firm in your choice of not drinking alcohol is well worth it.
It’s now deemed to be a quality beer and has a delicate, malty taste. The usual rules apply so I would shun the glass keep to the bottle and insist on it being really cold.
Refined carbonation and it is 0.0% ABV means that you can enjoy it with any meal but it does really suit a curry. It is am honest it is one of my favorite non-alcoholic beers. It won Monde Selection Awards across the Cobra Range, so it’s up there for it is awards and appreciation and gives us a good option for a beer and curry night.
There are at least options
Soft drinks’ aside there are options when I go to my local Indian Restaurant and the same is true across Europe in my experience. Get used to asking and being curious as some options won’t be on the menu so ask. From Indian tea, to milk drinks’ to the Cobra Beer Zero there is choice and the beer option definitely saves the day for me.