Wouldn't you love a deliciously different experience this Valentine's Day? Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal, Chief Foodie, APB Cook Studio, shares three simple recipes from her repertoire, to surprise your partner with.
Candlelight, pretty flowers, a lovely meal and the company of your loved one are sometimes all it takes to put together the ideal Valentine's Day experience. However, if you're willing to try your hand at something different this time around, then these scrumptious recipes are just what you need.
To Tickle Your Palate
Start your meal with this tasty, yet simple dish. Chermoula refers to a marinade that is primarily found in Moroccan, Algerian and Tunisian cuisines, and is most often used to marinate seafood. The clever mix of spices, fresh coriander and garlic as well as the acidity of lime complements the tiger prawns without overpowering them.
12 tiger prawns, peeled
80 gm coriander, including stalks, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin, toasted and powdered
1 tsp paprika
A pinch of red chilli flakes
2 lemons (juice only)
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 tbsp light olive oil, plus extra to fry
Salt to taste
Lemon wedges, to serve
To make the chermoula, mix coriander, cumin, paprika, chilli flakes, lemon and garlic in a blender and blitz, slowly adding the oil until smooth. Season the marinade with salt, before covering the prawns with it. Leave the prawns to marinate for at least an hour. Skewer and grill for a minute on each side or until pink. Serve with extra chermoula.
The Main Attraction
Risotto is perhaps one of the most daunting dishes that a novice cook could attempt - as displayed on many a food show, it's very easy to get it wrong. But if you pay close attention and follow the recipe, you should be able to beat the odds.
Porcini Mushroom Risotto
30 gm (about a packed half cup) dried porcini mushrooms
1 small onion, finely sliced
3 tbsp olive oil + 2 tbsp butter
300 gm (about 1½ cups) Arborio rice
1/3 cup dry white wine, warmed in a pan on the stove
50 gm (about 1 cup) freshly grated Parmigiano
The water in which the mushrooms were soaked, strained and a quart of simmering broth
A bunch of parsley, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
- Steep the porcini in a cup of boiling water for 15 minutes. Squeeze and transfer to plate. Chop coarsely. Meanwhile, sauté the sliced onion in either three tablespoons of oil or 1/4 cup of butter.
- When lightly brown, add chopped mushrooms and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Transfer on to a plate with a slotted spoon leaving as much oil as possible in the pan. Stir rice into thedrippings in the pot and sauté for 7-10 minutes, until it becomes translucent. Stir continuously, lest it stick and burn.
- Return the onion-mushroom mix to the pot, stir in the wine, and continue stirring until it has evaporated completely. Then, stir in a ladle of liquid (if you're using plain water, add about 3/4 teaspoons of kosher salt at this time), and while it absorbs, chop the mushrooms and strain the liquid in which they were soaked, as it might contain sand. Add the mushrooms and liquid to the rice, and continue adding water or broth, a ladle at a time, stirring occasionally. About five minutes before the rice is done, check the seasoning. As soon as the rice is al dente, turn off the heat, stir in the butter, half the cheese, and a little bit of ground pepper. Transfer it to the serving dish, sprinkle with parsley, and cover the risotto for two minutes. Serve with the remaining grated cheese.
Cravings Of A Sweet Tooth
A classic dessert like tiramisu with a twist is a perfect way to end a romantic meal. Strawberries, with their rich red colour fit the theme as well.
40 gm strawberries, hulled and chopped (reserve 2 for garnishing)
4 tbsp whipped cream
30 gm caster sugar
40 gms mascarpone
2 sponge finger biscuits
20 ml sweet dessert wine
Beat the whipped cream until its stiff and whisk in the mascarpone. Dip each biscuit in the wine, just long enough to coat it and arrange a layer of wine-soaked biscuits on the base of two shot glasses. Pipe a layer of mascarpone cream and spoon in a layer of strawberries. Repeat this, finishing with a generous amount of berries and cream. Chill for three to four hours for the flavours to meld. Dust with icing sugar/cacao and serve the very same day.
Don't fret if your delicious meal turns into a complete disaster. In case of any kitchen emergencies, you can hop across to these restaurants and rest assured of a great Valentine's Day meal.
Delhi: Royal China
Pune: Prego, Westin
Bengaluru: Olive Bar and Kitchen
Chennai: Italia - The Park Pod
Kolkata: Waterside Cafe, Hyatt Regency
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