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TOP 10: Aphrodisiacs in your kitchen!

Last updated on: February 14, 2013 20:25 IST

TOP 10: Aphrodisiacs in your kitchen!

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You don't have to go too far to rekindle your love. Kitchen might be a good place to start says Anita Rao Kashi.

It's that time of the year again, and the air is filled with that mush and heady feeling. Chocolates, red roses, cute teddy bears and fantastic dining options are all over the place, but if you really want to impress your dear one and completely floor your Valentine, then think different. Not just the man, but the route to a woman's heart too is through the stomach. So think about using one or combining many romantic ingredients to create a truly fabulous meal.

And while at it, jazz up the place where you plan to dine with flowers, candles and even drapes or silk sheets. Rustle up some nice romantic music to go with it. Cook up something elaborate, rare, exotic or even a favourite, but with a twist. Add a bubbly and a fortune cookie...

Meanwhile, here are 10 ideas that might get the creative juices flowing.

1. Garlic

Some may turn up their noses, both literally and metaphorically at this humble ingredient due to its stench, but the aroma of fresh garlic is a definite mood-enhancer. It has been in use for over 7000 years and the ancient Egyptian used it both for its culinary as well as medicinal properties. Its appeal comes from the fact that it contains a surprisingly high amount of allicin, which helps to regulate blood flow to the sexual organs.

Try: Garlic tossed mushrooms, fresh garlic rubbed on hot toast.

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2. Basil

Deceptively common, its enticing aroma and stimulating taste are said to induce passion in both sexes. Though of Indian origin, it was supposedly known to even Greek Gods from before the time of Christ.

Science says the heat and the aroma lead to production of powerful pheromones that build up sexual attraction and even drive one to passionate frenzy. It is also considered to be among the most effective romantic ingredients.

Try: Dry basil on pasta, pesto with freshly baked bread.

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3. Saffron

Considered to be among the royal spices, saffron is also an extremely exotic spice which is believed to stroke the flame of passion. Known to have existed since the seventh century BC, it has been unleashing its potent power ever since. Experts surmise that it releases its full power when combined with warm milk and boosts sexual energy.

Try: Warm milk with saffron, saffron in sweet yogurt.

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4. Strawberries

The bright colour and texture of the fruit is a certain attraction, but its beguiling factor goes much beyond its physical attributes. An excellent source of Vitamin C, the strawberry's pull comes from the enchanting aroma and piquant taste, both of which combine to make it a powerful aphrodisiac and are designed to unleash passion.

Try: Strawberries with thick cream or molten chocolate.

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5. Almonds

Though a native of the Mediterranean region and the Middle East, it first spread towards the region around the Indus and later the rest of the world. While it is common knowledge that most nuts are filled with essential oils, those in the almonds help in testosterone production, wherein lies its role as an aphrodisiac.

The increased levels help in sustaining better in romantic interludes and prolong the feeling of wellness. In fact, a handful of almonds everyday is a surefire way to keep passions on the high.

Try: Almond crusted chicken cutlets, almond biscotti.

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6. Banana

Sniggers aside, science has proven that the fruit's shape is a definite trigger for things naughty. In addition, the abundance of Vitamin B6 helps in regulating hormones and in serotonin secretion, which in turn is responsible for that euphoric feeling of satiation.

Not to mention of course the sugars which provide energy for doing all kinds of deeds.

Try: Thick banana milk shake, baked banana slices with cinnamon.

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7. Chocolate

Chocolate's oomph factor and association with all things sensual is not just coincidence. Science has it that chocolate (especially the dark variety) contains enough natural stimulants to fuel physical agility during intimacy.

Add to that are the various studies, plenty to count, that extol its virtues in multiple departments. Besides which, licking off melted chocolate has got to be the foremost sensual fantasy.

Try: Steaming and thick hot chocolate, chocolate ice cream with gooey chocolate cake.

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8. Honey

Known to man for over 8000 years, as evidenced by the pre-historic cave paintings in Valencia, Spain, the rich and thick golden liquid oozes of health and all kinds of goodness. Apparently, one of the constituents, boron, is also responsible for boosting libido.

Not to mention of course the sticky, smooth texture that can fuel many fantasies.

Try: Honey-based cocktail, honey-glazed pork ribs.

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9. Rose petals

Roses, especially red roses, symbolise a whole range of things from intimacy to passion. But it is not just external characteristic that is of note. They have proven to be among the best aphrodisiacs and can be eaten.

Their use in love potions is well documented and they are known to add that all-important zing to a relationship.

Try: Gulkand infused ice cream, crushed red rose petals on vanilla ice cream.

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10. Cheese

There's something gloriously decadent about cheese and the more exotic it is, the better. It's place as a sensory stimulant is well known and scientists say this is due to the fact that the aroma that cheeses give off resemble the scent of pheromones.

It's use as an aphrodisiac stems from the fact that it contains an enormous amount of phenyl-ethylamine, which is triggered during intercourse.

Try: Assorted cheese platter, fondue with chocolate, strawberries and banana.

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