Indian Coconut Prawns with Alsatian Gewurtzraminer

“This is a man who is used to making silk purses out of sows’ ears. He is physically incapable of making ordinary wine”, says Tom Stevenson, the author of World Encyclopedia of Champagne and Sparkling Wine. I had the privilege of having dinner with “this man”, Raphael Brisbois (http://www.justnat.com) and his lovely wife, Silvie, last weekend. Raphael isn’t just a talented wine maker.  He’s is also one of the most down-to-earth and nicest guys you’ll ever meet. While enjoying time with him and his wife over a dinner table, I thought how great it would be for everyone to have a long-lasting, never-fading love like they do: sweet, tender and tropical warm. Sounds amazing, right?

Three decades ago, Raphael created vineyards and winery operations in India. He told me that ever since his exposure to Indian cuisine, he’s been a fan of it. Feeling inspired, I’m making an Indian coconut prawn dish in my kitchen today.

First, I heat two tablespoons of unrefined, virgin coconut oil. And, I stir fry 1 finely chopped onion, 4 cloves garlic (crushed), a thumb-size ginger root (chopped) & 4 long, thin Indian green chili peppers (thinly sliced) with 2 tablespoons coriander, 1 teaspoon turmeric & 2 teaspoons sea salt for about 5 minutes. Then, I add 2 lbs raw prawns (it’s easier to eat if you shell them first) to the spiced coconut sauce & cook for about 5 minutes. Lastly, I stir in 1 cup of fresh cilantro leaves and cook for an additional couple of minutes before serving with rice.

This dish is so delicious and super easy-to-make. A blend of coriander, which has a mild floral flavor with a hint of citrus & sage, and turmeric, which is earthy with notes of mustard and horseradish, make the coconut sauce really delicious. And, sweet, juicy, meaty prawns soak in all that yummy sauce. Every bite has a zesty kick with a depth of complex flavors. Mmmm…..

I am pairing this dish with 2008 Hugel Gewurztraminer from Alsace, France, where Raphael was born. This refreshingly “clean” and dry wine has lovely aromas and flavors of tropical fruits, an oily texture & soft, gentle finish (like the personalities of Raphael & Silvie). The Indian coconut prawns and this wine are made for each other. Some things are just meant to be together:-)

I hope you enjoy the delicious tropical Indian recipe and the yummy wine to pair with during this balmy winter (at least on the west coast!). We have only one more month to go before officially welcoming Spring. Happy cooking, everyone!

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