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Food & Beverages

10 Chakna Dishes to Pair With Your Pint

By Somdutta Mazumder

Updated - Feb. 20, 2024 9 min read

Anybody who was around when I first started drinking, would've never predicted that I'd eventually settle into the shoes of a "beer person". Mostly because the first lap of my alcohol journey was marked by a serious soft-spot for spirits. I remember taking an embarrassing amount of pride, in my ability to guzzle down shot after shot of undiluted liquor, without so much as making a face. It was almost like I was trying to teach my liver a lesson. 


So I thank my stars for introducing me to the wonders of beer, before I became a full-fledged raging alcoholic. Suddenly, the short-lived charm of neat vodka, didn't seem worth the trade-off. It could also have to do with my inclining age and diminishing capacity, but the day finally arrived. The day I picked the happy high of a couple of pints, over the frenzied rise and crash of neat spirits. And I haven't looked back since.


TLDR; I love beer. 


You know what I also love? Snacking to my heart's content while I'm nursing a cold one. But as I'm sure you'd know if you like beer as much as I do, not every dish pairs well with our beloved ale. Especially messy food, or preparations that demand both your hands. Also, the spectrum of an ill-fit between your choice of poison and snack, ranges from, "hmm, that tastes funky" to "can you please call an ambulance?". That's not a chance worth taking, my friend. Especially, when we're here with a list of options that will lead to neither. On the contrary, these dishes will enhance the fabulous flavour of your beer, while satiating your appetite for actual food. Curious? Well, let's get a move on our guide to the best snacks to pair with a pint. 


1. Onion Rings 


These crispy, golden rings of flavour make for a great accompaniment to the malty sweet and hoppy bitter profile of a beer. Onion rings have always been a classic choice of appetiser, but when you're sipping on a beer alongside, the crunchiness of the deep-fried onions and their mouthwatering batter coating accentuates the grainy complexity of a good pitcher. To top it all off, they're incredibly easy to find at your favourite bars.



Image Courtesy: Recipe Fairy 


Make it at home:


Ingredients: Slice onions into rings, dip them in a batter made of flour, salt, pepper, and sparkling water.

Coating: Heat oil, coat the rings in the batter, and fry until golden brown and crispy.

Serve: Drain excess oil on paper towels, sprinkle with salt, and serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce. Enjoy crunchy homemade onion rings!



2. Crispy Chilli Baby Corn 


The fiery flavours of this beloved desi Chinese appetiser will be quick to perk up your beer session with the gang. Diced baby corn, deep-fried till crispy and nibbly, and then tossed in a mix of sweet-spicy sauce coupled with assorted veggies, packs a tasty punch in itself. But with the addition of a bold-tasting lager beer, the zing of the dish becomes even more pronounced. 



Image Courtesy: VegeCravings


Make it at home:

Ingredients: Baby corn, cornstarch, all-purpose flour, soy sauce, chili sauce, garlic, ginger, green onions, and vegetable oil.

Instructions: Coat baby corn with a mixture of cornstarch and flour, then deep fry until crispy. In a separate pan, sauté minced garlic and ginger, add soy sauce, chili sauce, and green onions. Toss the crispy baby corn in the sauce until well-coated.

Serve: Garnish with additional green onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy your crispy chilli baby corn hot and crunchy!



3. Tawa Paneer Tikka 


Smoky, spiced paneer and delicious light beer are a match made in snacking heaven! Especially if you're a vegetarian, paneer tikka is one of those classic appetiser choices that will never let you down. Particularly, light lagers and blonde ales tend to pair remarkably well with the savoury tang of Indian food, and this one is no different.



Image Courtesy: Chanazorgaram


Make it at home:

Marinate: Mix paneer cubes with yogurt, spices (like ginger-garlic paste, turmeric, garam masala), and lemon juice in a bowl.

Cook on Tawa: Heat a tawa (flat pan) with a bit of oil. Place marinated paneer pieces on it. Cook until charred and cooked through, turning occasionally.

Serve hot: Garnish with fresh coriander and lemon wedges. Serve hot with mint chutney for a delicious Tawa Paneer Tikka!


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Also Read: 10 Unique Aloo Dishes You Can Whip Up With Ease


4. Galouti Kebab


We're yet to discover a feeling as satisfying as some well-cooked, delicately seasoned Galouti Kebabs, melting in your mouth at the first bite. Did you know, that this delicious minced goat and papaya deliciousness, was originally meant for a Nawab in Lucknow? Suffice it to say, the regal blend of flavours in the dish bears testimony to this origin story. 



Image Courtesy: Medium


Make it at home:

Ingredients: Mix finely minced meat (usually lamb), cooked and mashed potatoes, ground spices (including garam masala and roasted cumin), ginger-garlic paste, and aromatic herbs like coriander and mint.

Method: Blend the ingredients into a smooth mixture, shape into small patties, and shallow fry in ghee or oil until golden brown on both sides.

Serve: Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with naan or mint chutney for a delicious and flavorful Galouti Kebab experience.



5. Cajun Spiced Potato Wedges


We're not going to paint a false picture here, we have a very low tolerance for spice. But the fact that we still can't stop gorging on spicy food packed with fiery flavours, proves just how addictive the taste can be. Light lagers and pale ales including IPA, will go down smoothly with the intense kick of Cajun seasoning, so mixing the spice with the crowd-favourite fare of potato wedges is a brilliant choice. 



Image Courtesy: Youtube


Make it at home:

Marinate: Toss potato wedges in Cajun seasoning and olive oil.

Method: Bake at 425°F for 30 minutes.

Serve: Serve with a side of spicy mayo dip.



6. Loaded Nachos 

Nachos and beer are a classic food-alcohol couple and it continues to be a safe choice to fall back on when you don't feel like trying something risky. The melange of Mexican flavours in a bowl of Nachos complements the bitter blend in darker beer varieties fantastically. And when you add a generous helping of scrumptious toppings like cheese, olives, salsa and diced chicken to the mix, it's enough to get you drooling from afar. 



Image Courtesy: Ready Set Eat


Make it at home:

Prep: Start by layering a bed of tortilla chips on a baking sheet.

Method: Sprinkle on your favorite toppings like shredded cheese, seasoned ground beef, diced tomatoes, jalapeños, and black beans.

Serve: Bake in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is bubbly, then serve with sour cream and guacamole. Enjoy your loaded nachos!


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7. Peanut Salad 


The OG chakna for all alcoholic intents and purposes, some delicious masala-rich peanut salad, is a perfect tidbit to throw in with sips of chilled beer. Peanuts can actually make the drink taste even better. The saltiness in the snack balances the bitter flavour of your beer, making it easier to guzzle down. 



Image Courtesy: Archana's Kitchen


Make it at home:

Ingredients: Toss fresh mixed greens, diced cucumber, and cherry tomatoes in a bowl.

Dressing: Whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, garlic, and lime juice.

Assembly: Drizzle the dressing over the salad, sprinkle roasted peanuts on top, and enjoy a crunchy, flavorful peanut salad!



Also Read: 5 Homemade Twists To Your Favourite Tikki


8. Masala Papad Topped With Salad 


We think it's safe to say that we've ventured into the territory of true beer snack classics, so excluding Masala Papad, would be a total sin. The delicious Indian papad is one of the most reached-for nosh options, whether by itself, along with a heavy meal, or an icy cold tumbler of some refreshing beer. Roasted papad loaded with a sweet and tangy mixture of sev, chopped veggies, sauce and coriander is perfect for those beer sessions when your appetite for food isn't particularly large. 



Image Courtesy: Reddit


Make it at home:

Cook: Start by roasting plain papads until they're crisp.

Dressing: Mix diced tomatoes, onions, and green chilies with a pinch of salt and lemon juice for the salad.

Serve: Sprinkle this zesty salad over the papads, add a dash of chaat masala, and enjoy your Masala Papad Topped With Salad!



9. Jalapeno Poppers 


Have we mentioned we love spicy food? To get yourself a kick in more ways than just from chugging the beer in your hand, we'd wholeheartedly suggest you pair it with a batch of Jalapeno poppers. If you've never tried this dish before, trust us when we endorse the delightful taste of some jalapenos stuffed with the gooey batter of herbed cheese and aromatic spices.



Image Courtesy: MyRecipes


Make it at home:

Slice and Seed: Cut jalapeno peppers in half lengthwise, remove seeds and membranes for milder heat.

Fill and Wrap: Stuff each half with cream cheese, wrap with bacon, and secure with toothpicks.

Bake and Enjoy: Bake at 375°F (190°C) for 20-25 minutes until bacon is crispy. Serve hot and enjoy your delicious jalapeno poppers!



10. Wings 


Do we even need to say anything here? All the fans already know, that what chicken wings are to beer, is what cheese is to wine. How about giving the classic American snack a flavoursome Indian twist? Sounds interesting? Order on your next chug fest. 



Image Courtesy: Sanjeev Kapoor Khazana


Make it at home:

Ingredients: Chicken wings, your favorite wing sauce, salt, pepper, and vegetable oil for frying.

Instructions: Season wings with salt and pepper, then fry until golden and crispy. Toss in wing sauce, and serve hot.

Optional: Garnish with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing for a classic accompaniment. Enjoy!



Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder! 


Q: What are some spicy Indian snacks that enhance the taste of alcoholic beverages?

A: Spicy options like chicken tikka, chili chicken, and spicy masala peanuts are great accompaniments.


Q: Can you suggest some regional Indian snacks that go well with different types of alcohol?

A: For example, vada pav with beer, dhokla with wine, and fish fry with whisky are regional pairings worth trying.


Q: Are there any healthy snack options that can be served with alcohol in India?

A: Opt for roasted chickpeas, grilled paneer skewers, or spiced nuts for healthier choices.


Q: What desserts can I serve with Indian alcoholic beverages at a dinner party?

A: Try desserts like kulfi, rasgulla, or coconut ladoo to sweeten the evening after drinks.


Q: Can you recommend some accompaniments for Indian cocktails and mocktails?

A: For cocktails, spicy chaat and crispy pakoras work well. For mocktails, fresh fruit platters and yogurt-based dips are refreshing options.


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