Valentine's Day is Incomplete Without the Right Meal
Some people believe that St Valentine’s Day rose from Christianity, while some believe has Roman origins. Not fewer than three martyred Catholic saints were called Valentine, while another popular story refers to Valentine, a Roman priest who defied Emperor Claudius II.
Keeping aside the confused history Valentine's Day, it is a day dedicated to voice feelings, affections to the special individuals of our lives.
As the famous saying goes, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, so Valentine’s Day would be quite incomplete without a delicious meal to charm your beloved. Many believe Valentine is supposed to be accompanied with romantic meals and while some attend special Valentines meals night out others enjoy the solitude and romance of a home cooked meal for two in private. Whatever the choice may be a great Valentine celebration goes together with the right meal.
When Making a Homemade Meal, Do It the Right Way
- Make some cool snacks
You want to tease your partners taste buds with some starters before the main meal. There are several kinds of starters and you can quickly combine a couple of ingredients together to make a basic starter, something that gets your taste buds going, instead of spending hours trying to prepare complicated recipes. Classic starters including dishes like prawn cocktail, vol au vents, sausage rolls, vegetable rice-paper rolls with citrus chili sauce, samosa. A soup or chicken salad is also a good Valentine starter, as are fruit, blueberry muffins, even Pringles and simple pies.
- Make his favourite dish
Just because you can’t cook like Gordon Ramsay does not mean you can't cook for your partner on a romantic day like Valentine’s day. In fact, partners appreciate meals cooked out of love and affection even if not perfectly cooked. You can serve your sweetie a scrumptious and delicious main course . Do your research on how to make his favorite dish, also find the right recipe for the main course. You can ask his mother for tips. He will be touched by the lengths you went for him.
- Indulge his sweet tooth with a delectable dessert
Dessert could be milk chocolate, white chocolate, strawberries or marshmallows to balance your romantic meal. Traditionally, chocolates, marshmallows, candies, colors red and pink and licorice have been associated with love and romance this makes the form a great dessert list for your romantic mealtime. Find out what he loves best and try making it yourself. But it's your day too and you don't want to be sweaty and exhausted from cooking all day, so find a good bakery or sweet shop and buy his favourite dessert from there.
6 Recipes for Lovingly Made Food Gifts for Him
Cooking for a loved one is more about the effort and thought than skills in the kitchen. If you're good at whipping up delicious meals, then your beloved is in for a treat, but even if you tend to falter around the kitchen there are ways to come up with delicious food. There is lots of help around, from recipes and videos, pre-mixes and ready masalas to easy recipes that require minimal skill.
Here are a few recipes for different levels of cooking skills, find one that's easy for you to follow.
No-Fry Onion-Spinach Pakora, Indian Fritters
Pakoras, fritters or bhajiyas, call them what you may, these crunchy and delicious snacks can make your mouth water at the mere mention of their name! Whet his appetite with one of our all time favourite treats.
Ingredients you will need:
- 1 cup besan (chickpea flour)
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon chaat masala
- 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup water adjust for pancake batter-like consistency
- 2 tablespoons light olive oil for pan-frying
- 1 cup baby spinach chopped
- 1 medium shallot chopped or sliced thin
Steps to make pakoras:
- Get a large bowl to mix your ingredients. Mix chickpea flour (besan) with the spices and the add baking soda.
- Add little quantity of water and make a pancake batter to your desired standard. Add up the chopped spinach with the sliced shallots. Mix thoroughly.
- Heat the stuffed pancake in a pan on medium heat for about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add about 1/2 a teaspoon of light olive oil. Using two spoons, add about a tablespoon of batter in each cavity.
- Close your pot and cook for about 2-3 minutes on the first side of the Pakora. Add a few more drops of oil on the pakoras and flip it over to the other side.
- Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Serve you pakoras hot with a side of chutneys or ketchup.
Kerala Prawn Roast
This one's for the seafood lovers, and if your man likes spicy or Kerela food, he will be left licking his fingers!
What you need to make these spicy prawn:
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- ½ kg prawns
- 1 tablespoon ginger, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic, finely sliced
- 1/2 tablespoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 tablespoon pepper powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 medium cambodge / kodampuli
Preparing the prawn masala:
- 1 cup medium sized shallots
- 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- Cooking oil for roasting
- 2 tablespoons coconut, finely sliced
- Salt to taste
Steps to make the Kerala Prawn Roast
- Wash and clean the prawns very well. keep it aside in a separate bowl.
- Mix together all the marinating ingredients like ginger, curry leaves, turmeric powder, pepper powder, cambodge / kodampuli and salt.
- Marinate the prawns with the masala mix in its bowl. Proceed to cooking the marinated prawn in a pan, covering the pan while cooking.
- Add 1-2 tablespoon of water to it to prevent burning. Make sure the prawn are not overcooked. Keep aside.
- Heat a little portion of oil in a deep frying pan and add the shallots directly to the oil.
- Reduce the flame when you notice it attains a light golden brown colour, add the spice powders like coriander powder, garam masala, and chilli powder.
- Stir it really well and add some oil as required. Fry the coconut bits separately and add it with the above recipe.
- Add salt according to taste and cook for about 9 to 10 minutes.
- Use a long handle stir in between and when the contents are well roasted, turn off the heat. Add the cooked prawns and mix to ensure they are well coated with the masala. Transfer to a serving bowl.
- Garnish with coriander leaves and sliced tomato. Serve hot with rice or chapati.
Pan Fried Momos
Ingredients for Pan Fried Momos
- For the wonton wrapper
- 1 cup all purpose flour (maida)
- 1/2 cup vegetable stock (can be replaced with water)
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon red chilli sauce (Sichuan sauce)
- For the filling
- Black pepper powder, for seasoning
- 1 tablespoon Hoisin sauce
- Salt to taste
- 2 sprigs spring onions (bulb and greens)
- 1 cup broccoli
- 1/2 red bell pepper (capsicum), finely chopped
- 1 inch ginger, finely chopped
- 4 cloves carlic, finely chopped
Steps to make dumpling skin
- Step 1: Pour flour into a large bowl, add water little by little and knead to make a smooth dough.
- Step 2: As soon as the dough is forming gradually, keep kneading for about 5 minutes to make it smooth and elastic. Make sure the dough is not in the least sticky.
- Step 3: Put the dough in a ziplock bag, make sure you press out all air within the bag and and leave the dough to rest on counter for about 10 minutes. The dough will steam up the bag and become soft.
How to make filling for momos
- To make the filling, pre-heat a large sauce pan with oil and garlic, ginger, and the vegetables (red bell peppers and broccoli). Season it with sauce, salt and pepper. Make sure you cook the mixture properly, taste it and check if the vegetables is done. Finally add the spring onions and stir them well. Allow to cool down before proceeding.
Steps to making the half moon shaped momos
- Step 1: Cut the dough into small, equal lemon sized portions. Dust the dough portions with flour and roll out into a circular shape. Make sure the dough is not too thick but also not very thin so that the inner filling will not tear it out.
- Step 2: Put a small portion of your filling in the center of the roll it out in a circular form. Put together the edges of the dough with a pinching and folding motion on one side and bring the other side to hold to the pinched side. Following the above step will make the dough form a moon shaped size. Do the same with the remaining dough.
- Step 3: Heat a sauce pan and pour a little oil in it. Wait for oil to be sufficiently hot, then gently lower these momos carefully into it, one at a time. Stir fry for a few seconds till the oil coats momos then add a ladle of water or vegetable stock and cover the pot and cook the momos for about 9 to 10 minutes.
- Step 4: As soon as its done, add chili sauce and soy and toss the momo evenly till it well coated.
- Step 5: Serve momos as an appetiser. You can also serve it as a main dish.
Ingredients for Pomfret Mappas:
- ½ teaspoon, turmeric powder
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 green chillies
- 10-12 curry leaves
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 4 tablespoons of coconut oil
- 2 cups coconut, scraped
- 6 pieces of kodumpuli
- 1 inch stick of cinnamon
- 1/2 red bell pepper (capsicum), finely chopped
- 4 cloves
- 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds (saunf)
- 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
- 8 cloves of garlic
- 1 inch piece of ginger
- Salt to taste
- 2 teaspoons coconut toddy vinegar
- 4 medium pomfret
Steps to make Pomfret Mappas
- Step 1: Cut the fish into three equal pieces and dry them with a piece of towel. Marinate in vinegar with a pinch of salt.
- Step 2: Grind garlic and ginger to smooth paste. Roast the fennel seeds, coriander seeds, cloves and cinnamon in a fry pan and pound to a fine powder.
- Step 3: Soak the kodumpuli in 1/2 a cup of water. Grind coconut with 1 cup of warm water, extract thick milk and repeat this process to get the second extract.
- Step 4: Heat up the oil in a pan, add the mustard seeds, curry leaves and green chillies. Once the mustard seeds splutter add onions and fry till golden brown.
- Step 5: Put some ginger-garlic paste and stir. Add turmeric powder, pounded masala and salt.
- Step 6: Put the soaked kodumpuli and second extract of coconut milk. Simmer for five minutes..
- Step 7: Lower the fish into the curry. Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat and cook till the fish is done.
- Step 8: Remove from heat and add the first extract of coconut milk and bring back to simmer but do not boil.
- Step 9: Adjust the seasoning. Gently remove the fish pieces and cook the curry little more to get the right consistency. Put the hot curry over the fish and serve hot.
What you will need for making appams:
- 2 cups regular rice (sona masoori, basmati, kolam or any variety)
- 1 cup parboiled rice or boiled rice or idli rice
- A fistful of poha (aval or parched rice) or cooked rice
- 1 to 1.5 cups grated coconut or 1 cup thick coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon dry active yeast
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt or add as required
- Water as required for grinding
- Oil as needed
Steps to making appams
- Step 1: Rinse your rice properly about two times. Soak the rice and the parboiled rice in water for about 4 to 5 hours
- Step 2: Make sure you drain the rice and then put it into the grinder. Also make sure you add the grated coconut, cooked rice or poha/aval, dry active yeast, sugar and salt. You can also proof the yeast separately and then add. Just take about 2 to 3 teaspoon warm water. Then add a pinch of sugar and dissolve it.
- Step 3: Go ahead add the yeast and stir. let the content sit at room temperature for about 10 to 15 mins till it becomes bubbly and frothy.
- Step 4: Put the required amount of water and grind all the ingredients to a smooth flowing batter.
- Step 5: Turn the batter in a large bowl or pan. Put a lid on it and keep aside for fermenting for about 8 to 12 hours, depending on the temperature conditions. Your batter will rise and increase in volume the next day.
- Step 6: You can go ahead and heat appam pan with handles. Sprinkle some oil on the kadai. if using non stick kadai, then skip smearing the oil.
- Step 7: spread a ladle full of the batter. Turn and tilt the pan so as to spread the batter.
- Step 8: Close the pan lid and let the appam cook. The bottom would become nicely light golden. Repeat the above steps for the rest of the appams.
- You can then serve the appams hot or warm with vegetable stew or sweetened coconut milk.
20-Minute Spaghetti Carbonara
Ingredients for 20-Minute Spaghetti Carbonara
- Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish
- Extra-virgin olive oil (optional), for garnish
- Flaky sea salt (optional), for garnish
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 slices bacon
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 3 large eggs
- Salt to taste
- 350 gm spaghetti
How to make it:
- Prepare a large pot of salted boiling water, cook spaghetti according to package instruction. Once done, drain the water completely.
- Get a small bowl, whisk your eggs, then add the cheese and mix it until its very well combined.
- Heat a pan and cook the bacon until it is very crispy, for about 8 minutes. Transfer the slices to a paper towel-lined plate for them to be drianed.
- Next, cook the garlic until fragrant, for about 1 minutes. Add the cooked spaghetti and toss until fully coated in bacon fat. Remove from heat.
- Pour over egg and cheese mixture and stir vigorously until creamy (be careful not to scramble eggs).
- Put a couple tablespoons of the pasta water to loosen sauce if necessary.
- Season generously with salt and pepper and stir in cooked bacon.
- Sprinkle with olive oil and garnish with flaky sea salt, Parmesan, and parsley before serving.
Buy These Cool Valentine's Food Gifts for Him
Extravaganza Gourmet Cheese Board
If you want to shop for the perfect presents for Valentine’s Day, a gourmet cheese gift basket may be the perfect option for your beloved partner. It is probably the safest present that you can give to almost anyone because of its sophistication and its timeless appeal.
You can arrange a unique cheese gift basket by simply adding some gourmet cheeses, bottles of wine, chocolates, and other items that will add more value to it. Your partner will be satisfied once he see how much effort and time you devoted to arranging a special basket of tasty foods for him.
Another option is to buy a ready gift basket. Such as this Extravaganza Gourmet Cheese Board. This is a truly extravagant mix of different types of cheeses - American, English cheddar and brie or Camembert. It also contains all the perfect accompaniments for these cheeses - whole green olives, crackers, nuts like pistachios and cashews, some fresh bread, jams and seasonal fruit as well as a jar of Dijone mustard. If your boyfriend or husband is a food connoisseur, he's going to be over the moon on receiving this! You can pick up this nice gift basket for Rs.6,950 online at gourmetcompany.in.
Basket of Mixed Chocolates
Chocolate and romance seem to go hand in hand but have you noticed how it's usually the men who give boxes of it to their girlfriends and wives. Which is really unfair because guys adore chocolate just as much as women! Break the chain and give your sweetheart a gift basket filled with the chocolates he likes. Fill a little box, basket or hamper with his favourites, tuck a sweet note inside and hand it to him. He will be delighted!
For those who prefer ordering online, we suggest this Basket of Mixed Chocolates. It's got some of the most popular candy around - two bars of Snikers (weighing 20 gm), two bars of Dairy Milk Crackle (40 gm bars) and a small cox of Ferrero Rocher (the one with 5 pieces of chocolate), all neatly presented in a wicker basket. Order it on onlinedelivery.in for as little as Rs.1,595.
Anjeer Dry Fruit Roll
If your partner is trying to avoid sugar for health or fitness reasons, or simply doesn't enjoy the taste of chocolate, here is another way to express your love and affection for him. Gifting him dry fruit will show you care about his interests and have his best at heart. These are tasty, easy to carry as a snack and are packed with nutrients. A 500 gm box of Anjeer Dry Fruit Roll can be a sweet and thoughtful gift. These tasty rolls are a blend of figs, cashew, almond, sugar and cardamom, garnished with silver leaves, and deliver a rich and irresistible taste. Buy these for Rs.1,042 from giftsnideas.com.
Box of Assorted Kaju Sweets
This Indian sweet is made in almost all parts of India but is particularly famous in the Western territories of the country, and we all know a few people who are die-hard fans of its creamy, luxurious taste.
It’s true that these sweets are extremely tasty and their taste can easily be the only reason of consuming them. However, they also offer certain health benefits, because cashew nuts, being the main ingredient used for preparing them, are good for your partners’ health in many ways.
Kaju sweets are a great option, especially if your boyfriend happens to be crazy about them. Although they are popular as gifts during festivals, do you really want to wait for the next holiday to treat him to something he enjoys a lot? Buy a box of kaju sweets in creative shapes and flavours from giftsnideas.com. This 250 gm box of sweets will cost you Rs.1,699.
Some Tips to Make Your Edible Valentine Gift a Hit
Have Food Delivered to Him from His Favourite Restaurant
Booking for a home delivery service for your partner on the Valentine’s Day will mean that you have got regards for his taste and cravings. He will be thrilled by your effort to treat him specially. Before Valentine's Day comes around, take a trip to his favorite restaurant, where he feels more comfortable eating his meal. While you are there, ask for his favorite meal at the restaurant, this will also give you an insight of meal combination you would choose to be delivered at your partner’s door step.
Get Him His Favorite Chocolate or Treats
Chocolate has been around for longer than most people think, only few will resist the sumptuous taste of chocolate. There’s something about its sweet taste and its delicate texture that always attracts people. Some say that chocolate is like a drug, and we wouldn’t be surprised if that were true. Gifting him his favorite chocolate will not only make him think of you over and over again, but also shower you with affection and crave for you all time. Reason being that your partner will feel important and happy receiving a set of his sweet treats on a special day.
Don't Forget to Get His Favourite Wine
Wine’s taste is not quantifiable, they offer a soothing effect to your soul especially when it’s served chilled. A celebration of love wouldn’t be perfect without gulping down his favorite wine. His favorite wine will offer him most enjoyable because of a great taste, an experience seasoned with the aromas; colour and taste approached with positive anticipation will set your partner in the right mode for the Valentine. A wine gift is always been cherished by anyone, it would be great to have it on your surprise list.
Use food to create a sensual experience
There are plenty of reasons why certain foods such as chocolate, strawberries and oysters are associated with romance. That they are considered aphrodisiacs is just one. Put some thought into creating a meal for your Valentine's Day celebrations. Apart from taste, consider things like whether he, or you, are allergic to specific foods or if you react unfavourably to some preparations. Indians adore spicy food but will it leave you feeling hot and unpleasant? Your special curry dish may be delicious but will it be too messy to eat? Choose items you know make you feel good. Think about what you want to do after you eat, and if feeling extremely drowsy after eating a heavy meal will interfere with those plans.