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Igniting Passion

Lip-smacking dishes featuring aphrodisiacal ingredients to boost your libido

1/30/2015 4:54:58 PM
written By : Nithya Subramanian Print

As a young child, I was fascinated by the peddler hawking strange-looking herbs which could treat ‘all’ kinds of ailments including ‘gupt rog’. While I did not really understand the ‘secret disease’, my curiosity was piqued after seeing several men whispering their queries into the peddler’s ears. While I’m quite sure that most of the medicines that he sold were ineffective, they did keep up on one promise - raising excitement!

Soon these herbal concoctions gave way to Viagra – the new performance pill that got everyone, once again, very excited. I clearly remember the India launch of this blue, four-sided pill, it was an event that hogged the headlines of all newspapers the following day. In fact, amongst the high society, laying your hands on a Viagra pill was perhaps eqiuvalent to getting a designer bag. This spurred so many me-toos that the market was soon flooded with different brands.

The desire to experiment with libido-boosters has been prevalent since ancient times with even the Ayurveda devoting a whole branch of medicine called Vajrikarna (that which strengthens the body by reinvigorating the sexual organs). The Ayurvedic point of view is that this maximises the overall health of the body, while also improving fertility and heightening sexual pleasure. No wonder the Indian pantry contains several items that are known for aphrodisiacal properties.

While the US Food and Drug Authority (FDA) has cautioned against such products, come Valentine’s Day 1 there are many restaurants that use these ingredients to create special menus - be it expensive oysters, caviar, truffles, shark’s fin and so on or basic ingredients like the humble chilli, banana, chocolate, avocado or basil leaves.

According to American chef Lonnie Lynch, “Food and sex have a long history of intimacy… Some exotic aphrodisiac get reputations because they cause a physical reaction in the body similar to the effects of passionate interactions.”

In his book titled Romance Cooking – Unlocking The Secrets Of Seducing Mars Or Venus, Lynch said that aphrodisiacs have five distinct qualities such as smooth, rich, creamy, exotic and spicy. Even shapes of food and fantasies play a large part. “Some fruits and nuts get the reputation simply from their shapes and light feeling in your stomach as an aphrodisiac. Some foods are believed to have aphrodisiac powers because they resembled human gentilia,” he wrote. Tones, touch, smell and taste of certain ingredients also cause sexual excitement.

To make this Valentine’s Day special, here are easy recipes using libido-boosting ingredients. Your mind too is a great stimulant. So, if you feel sexy, you will be sexy. And along with great food, the desire is only set to grow! 

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