No matter how expensive the scotch is or how chilled the beer, if you don’t have the right chakna with drinks, it’s all pointless.
Science suggests the more you drink, the hungrier you get. Alcohol is a great stimulant of the appetite, a time when you tend to crave high-fat food or something salty. And that is when the savoury chakna comes into the picture.
A bowl, or two, of some appetizing chakna has always been the soul of the party; something that’s also highly recommended by experts. One of the beneficial aspects of the scrumptious chakna is that it slows down the pace of alcohol absorption into your system so that you can avoid a nasty hangover, the morning after. Experts suggest drinking on an empty stomach is more harmful than beneficial and that eating while drinking helps one stay in control, as opposed to the latter. So if you’re hosting the ultimate drinks-only gathering this month, we’re here to make it an easy-peasy affair.
Here’s a list of 8 best easy-to-make chaknas with creative serving suggestions that complement your drink.
Tandoori chicken with a twist
Some pairs just can’t be broken, and tandoori chicken is one of them when coupled with your favourite dram. Hot, spicy, and drizzled with chat masala, tandoori chicken serves as one of the best chaknas with drinks that possesses the power to leave one craving for more. It’s a match made in heaven, especially with the smooth and aromatic Johnnie Walker Black Label scotch, and all you need is an outdoor grill. Moreover, if you use hung curd instead of regular curd for the marinade and leave it for three to four hours in a refrigerator, it will really bring out the flavours and make the moistest tandoori chicken. If you’re looking for a twist or wish to mellow the spicy flavour, add some grated cheddar cheese to the marinade and cook until the outer skin is crispy and adequately charred. Serve with some delectable mint or mango chutney.
Your own version of Peri-Peri French fries
What’s not to like about French fries with the smooth Black and White Scotch Whisky? The saltiness and crunchiness of french fries are the perfect complement to any drink. Even better is when it’s drizzled with spicy mayo or dunked in barbeque sauce. Most chefs believe the best fries must hit the oil twice - once at a lower temperature, and then again at a high temperature to get the perfect creamy interior and crunchy exterior. If peri-peri is your thing, you can make your version of it using red chili, cayenne pepper, chilli flakes, garlic powder with a bit of chaat masala and salt. Pour the mix over the crunchy fries, and mix thoroughly. Serve with regular ketchup, mayonnaise or even soy chili sauce.
Some pairs are made in heaven -- just like peanuts and Black Dog Scotch Whisky -- and no one messes with them. Though peanuts on their own make for the best chakna with drinks, you can add a bit of drama by mixing them with freshly chopped onions, tomatoes, green chilies and loads of chat masala. Finish with a squeeze of lime.
Masala papad with topping
No party is complete without masala papad. Just pile on the onions, tomatoes and chilies and see the sparks fly. If you have friends who are counting calories, roast the papad instead of frying them. Remember to add the toppings on the table to avoid making the papad soggy.
Fish fry with lemon garlic cream sauce
Fried fish with you favourite Smirnoff vodka will never go out of style. Whether you are entertaining at home or in a fancy restaurant, a perfectly fried, spicy fish as chakna with drinks never disappoints. If you are short of time, keep a ready marinade of chili powder, cumin powder, turmeric, salt and vinegar in the fridge. Just rub it on the fish, fry and wait for the applause to follow. Serve with lemon garlic cream sauce for that added zing.
Thai Glazed Cashew
This healthy combo is also immensely delicious, especially if they are flavoured with spices. Just toast them on a pan before serving and drizzle them with your favourite spices for added kick. If you’re looking for something different, here’s something that will pique the interests of your guests: Thai glazed cashews is a tantalizing combination of sweet, salty and spicy chakna. Add chili flakes to hot oil and add the nuts. Stir-fry until nuts are coated with chili oil (about 20 seconds). Add the salt and sugar. Stir-fry about 1 minute, or until the sugar has dissolved. Don't over-cook, or the sugar will start to burn.
Chips and avocado dip
Chips are to drinks, what milkshakes are to burgers – made for each other. It’s cheap, comforting and very delicious. You can serve it with this simple avocado dip that will leave your guests wanting for more. Scoop the avocados out of their skins and blend in a food processor along with cilantro, sour cream, lime juice, salt and pepper.
Nachos with toppings
Crunchy, saucy and salty – nachos make for a hearty and delicious pairing with the smooth Johnnie Walker Red Label. The heat from jalapeños in the salsa and the drizzle of hot sauce on top make it irresistible. Choose the perfect chips for your nachos. If you go with something that’s too thin and crispy, it might crumble under the weight of your toppings. Instead, choose something that’s nice and heavy, which can make all the difference in ensuring that proper taste experience. For veggie lovers, you can top the tortilla chips with zucchini, red onions, mushrooms, sliced bell pepper, and 3-4 cups of shredded cheese (as per your choice). Bake and add sour cream and salsa verde.
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