The Indian kitchen is a treasure trove of aphrodisiac spices. Experts tell us about the most potent ones and some recipes that utilise them.
Shun those fancily packaged potions that promise strong libido. The recipe of sexing up your life, literally, is in your kitchen. A new study by the Centre for Integrative Clinical and Molecular Medicine, Australia, says that fenugreek, that’s used to flavour Indian curries can help boost male libidos. Fenugreek contains saponins that triggers male sex hormones including testosterone, say the researchers. For the study, 60 men were given fenugreek extract twice a day for six weeks. And, the libido of these men upped by a quarter.
Not just fenugreek, the Indian kitchen is full of powerful aphrodisiacs. "Ayurveda widely utilises herbs and spices in the recipes of medicines used to cure impotency and ignite libido. If used in diet regularly, they can substantially up your sex drive," says nutritionist Dr Simran Saini. Ginger, garlic, cloves, nutmeg, saffron, black pepper and a number of other herbs and spices contain aphrodisiac properties.
"Phytonutrients such as phenols and isoflavones present in them in different proportions can stimulate the female and male sex hormones and we often prescribe them to patients with sexual problems," says nutritionist Dr Nupur Kirshnan. Here are a few aphrodisiac recipes that’ll heat up things between the sheets.
Nutmeg saffron tea
1 tsp green tea leaves
6-7 no saffron strands
2 apricots, dry
1/4 nutmeg powder
1 silver leaf
Take two cups of water and boil it with diced apricots, raisins and saffron strands.
Once the water is reduced to half, add green tea leaves and remove from flame.
Allow to stand for one minute and strain in a tea cup.
Sprinkle with nutmeg powder and silver leaf diamonds.
Serve hot with sugar cubes.
Recipe by Chef Tarun Kapoor
Overnight marinated leg of lamb with saffron sauce
For the leg of lamb
2.5 kg boneless leg of lamb roast
7 tbsp almond oil or light sesame oil
1.5 tbsp ground cinnamon
1.5 tbsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp black pepper
3.5 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1.5 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 handful whole cloves
60 gm coarsely chopped onion
For the Saffron emulsion
1 cup chicken stock
4 tbsp butter
6 tbsp flour
3 threads saffron
1/4 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine the oil with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, pepper, ginger garlic paste and fenugreek.
Rub the entire roast well with this mixture.
Using a sharp paring knife, score the meat in a diamond shape and stud with cloves.
Cover it with plastic wrap and leave it overnight in the refrigerator.
Next day, take the roast out of the fridge and let it sit for 1 hour before proceeding.
Preheat the oven to 250°C.
Place the roast with its spices and the chopped onion into a deep casserole pan and roast, open, 40 minutes.
Reduce heat to 150°C and continue roasting for another 50-60 minutes.
Remove roast and let it stand in a warm place, covered with foil, while making the sauce.
Heat the chicken stock in a sauce pan and gently bring to a simmer, adding the saffron threads.
Combine the butter and flour separately in another pan and gently cook for a few minutes to form a roux.
Add the roux to the chicken stock and saffron mixture, stirring continuously to ensure there are no lumps.
Gently add the milk in a steady stream to finish the sauce.
Evenly slice the lamb and serve with the sauce.
Recipe by Chef Sabyasachi Gorai
Some sex enhancing ingredients
Chinese women believed that it increases sexual desire. Nutmeg soothes the mind during sex.
Garlic has high levels of allicin, a compound that can improve blood flow to the sex organs.
Ginger is a circulatory system stimulant which can increase sexual powers and desire.
Saffron contains crocin, a compound that gives it aphrodisiac effect. It’s perfume also enhances pleasure.
Fenugreek seeds contain saponins that stimulate the production of male sex hormone, testosterone.
According to Ayurveda, cardamom mixed with honey and milk cures various sexual disorders.
Chillies have capsaicin, which increases blood flow and triggers the release of mood-enhancing endorphins.
It improves the production of nitric acid that stimulates energy required during sex and increases male libido.
It is believed that basil stimulates the sex drive and boosts fertility.
(With inputs from PTI)