Newsflash to the Western World: You Can Make Your Own Chicken Tikka Masala! (And Pair it With Wine, Too.)

If you’re like most cosmopolitan people, you’re a real fan of the chicken they serve in Indian restaurants, swimming in that heavenly, velvety, smooth, soupy sauce known as a curry.

Chicken Tikka Masala with a Northern Rhone Syrah.

And if so, you’ve probably wondered two things from time to time:

1. How do you make this stuff?

2. What do you pair with it?

Today on, we are answering both questions — first, with a real restaurant recipe for making chicken tikka masala, and second, the pairing advice of Raj Parr, the father of RN74, and the co-author of Secrets of the Sommeliers.

The video covers:

Onions, ginger and garlic: The curry trinity.

— Creating a velvet-smooth curry base using tomatoes, onions, ginger and garlic — a curry base that lays the foundation for aloo gobi, lamb korma, saag paneer, and a million other dishes.

— Blending that curry base with butter, spices, tomato puree, and cream to create the “sauce” for chicken tikka masala.

Building a curry: Spices and butter.

— The supposed reasoning behind why Raj Parr tells to pair a Northern Rhone Syrah with this dish.

Published in: on May 11, 2011 at 9:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

As promised: How to preserve your opened wine a whole lot longer than you have been.

As promised, here’s the video on how to crack open a coveted bottle of wine, drink a glass, and preserve the rest for as long as you want to.

By bottling wine just as the winery does, the techniques shown let you — and your wine — cheat death. Call it hacking a bottle. Or jailbreaking your wine as you would an iPad. Doing so gives you control over your vino so that you can down a glass over and over again over several years, if you desire, so long as you have a smaller-sized bottle in which to place the remainder for the next time you want it.

Simply put, you drink some wine and then add a minuscule touch of (truly delicious) potassium metabisulfite, an antioxidant, to preserve the rest. Such supplies — including corks, corkers, bottles and screw caps — are online at and

If Apple were a winery, Steve Jobs would be freaking out right now. Fine by me. I like raising my glass to a control freak freaking out.

This is the follow-up to this post.

Drink half a bottle and save the rest for 5 years? Say what?!

Ever feel like guzzling half of a bottle of 1986 Chateau Montelena and saving the rest for months or years?

You can.

Why not try half a bottle and save the rest for 2020?

If more people knew they didn’t have to deplete a whole bottle just to try a glass of what’s inside, there’d be a little more enjoyment of wine out there. In my case, there’s only one serious drinker in my household, and I’m not cracking my 2007 Opus One only to be forced to gulp it down in one or two nights before it oxidizes because my non-oenophiliac significant other won’t share it with me. I’m gonna be cracking it and saving the rest for enjoyment down the road — maybe years down the road.

Say you’re like me. Or say you’re single and guzzling a bottle of 32-proof Zin is out of the question because you only believe in having a glass of vino a day. Or say you’ve got a magnum of Silver Oak and you wanna reduce it to a regular bottle by drinking half of it in 2011 and the rest in 2021.

Here’s what you do. You scrap all of those genitalia pumps that you’ve been attaching to your bottles to draw out a cuppla pounds per square inch of atmosphere just to extend the life of the contents by a day or three. And then …

A tutorial on this subject will be among the posts appearing at in upcoming days!

That tutorial later appeared here.

Published in: on March 22, 2011 at 10:34 pm  Comments (1)