Indian Food and KamaSutra

According to KamaSutra food is not only for the body but it is also for nourishing the soul. Across many different cultures certain foods have emerged with a reputation for being aphrodisiacs. Food and many other substances primarily affect us with a combination of various sensuous reactions - the visual satisfaction of the sight of appetizing food, the stimulation of their pleasing smells and the tactile gratification. Although modern medical science recognizes a very limited number of aphrodisiacs, now we do know that there are certain trace elements like zinc that are important for complete health as well as increase sexual desire. There are many recipes, based on knowledge about food containing aphrodisiac proprieties.

Goddess of Olfaction: The Kamasutra of the Dining Table

Contrary to western popular perception, Kamasutra is not intended to be used merely as an instrument for satisfying our desires. It presents itself as a guide to love, family life and art of eating good food. Eating has become a forgotten art. One of the best ways to relish the food on your plate is to talk about it. When a fellow diner describes the delicate touch of an exotic spice melting on their taste buds, like a low note in a symphony, that was wrapped deep within the taste of an ingredient, you have a chance to experience your food in a different way. Next time you sit down to have a meal with friends or with a date, enliven your dining experience by adding a slice of history and a portion of story to the food you eat. ‘Kamasutra of the Dining Table’ is unlike any other cookbook that you will find. It is more than a set of instructions. Indeed, this book is not about recipes. It is about the stories of the recipes. The stories in this book may be fact, or they may be fiction, but each is what gives the recipe its true flavor. This collection will also expand your knowledge of food and the world, as well as sharpening your skills in the kitchen.

Indian food surprises us not only with its incomparable flavors and scents but also contains medicinal and preservative properties. Find out which Indian spices are good for you and why?

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Do Aphrodisiacs work?

What is an Aphrodisiac? "An aphrodisiac is an edible food or drink that imparts amorous qualities and eating or drinking these foods stimulates you and gets you in the mood for love". Some of the aphrodisiac foods that have been written since ancient times are: apples, artichokes, asparagus, almonds, figs, bananas, strawberries, honey, ginger, saffron, apricots, cherries, coconut, dates, grapes, mangoes, papayas, peaches, pears, plums, pomegranates and raspberries and of course chocolate. Aphrodisiacs were first sought out as a remedy for various sexual anxieties including fears of inadequate performance as well as a need to increase fertility. Procreation was an important moral and religious issue and aphrodisiacs were sought to insure both male and female potency. To find out more about KamaSutra, Tantric philosophy and food click here>>

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Aphrodisiac Foods that Boost your Libido

Ajwain - or Bishop’s Weed (Trachyspermum ammi) is a shrub, occurring from Egypt to India, and which has been used for medical purposes for several thousand years. The seeds are rich in thymol and are considered an effective aphrodisiac. The seeds should be crushed and fried in ghee (clarified butter), normal butter or olive oil together with an equal quantity of crushed tamarind seeds. A teaspoon of this fried product, taken together with honey and milk before bed, increases virility and cures premature ejaculation, according to traditional Indian herbal medicine.

Almonds - were regarded as fertility symbols throughout antiquity. Nuts in general are held to have fertility powers. The aroma of almond supposedly arouses passion in females. Alexander Dumas dined on almond soup every night before meeting his mistress, and Samson wooed Delilah with them.

Asafetida - Indian dried, powder herb used as a sexual stimulant in Ayurvedic medicine. Besides being an aphrodisiac it is also used as a laxative and a colic cure, although the main use is as a spice in cooking.

Avocado - aside from their voluptuous, feminine shape, avocados have also been associated with male sexuality. The Aztecs called the avocado tree "Ahuacuatl," or "testicle tree." The ancients thought the fruit hanging in pairs on the tree resembled the male's testicles. The Spanish, in fact, found avocados so obscenely sexy, that Catholic priests forbade them to their parishioners.

Cardamom - is a sensual spice considered to have aphrodisiac properties. Its essential oil has an erotic effect. With a peculiar nature; it cools the body when it is hot, and warms it when it is cold. Cleopatra uses to take baths in cardamom. Powdered cardamom seeds, boiled with milk, produce a remedy against impotence and premature ejaculation, when taken together with honey in the evening. Cardamom is a stimulant especially if added to coffee. At least according to traditional Indian herbal medicine; but be careful as excessive use might lead to impotency, according to the same sources.

Cinnamon - cinnamon bark is used to treat abdominal disorders, menstrual pain, infertility, impotence and lack of sexual desire.

Cayenne Pepper - stimulant, irritant, fresh or dried fruits eaten. It heats the sexual drive. It has irritating effects on membranes and urogenital area. Contains acrid substance capsicum and a lot of vitamin C. Avoid over dosage. Cayenne is also known as capsicum and plays a very large role in blood circulation. When cayenne is ingested, it dilates blood vessels. This allows increased blood flow throughout the body, especially in the major organs. The male penis benefits greatly from the ingestion of cayenne. It is a widely held belief that cayenne aids in longer lasting erections, with stronger ejaculations and more intense orgasms.

Cloves - are the dried flower buds of Jambosa caryophyllus. They have been considered an aphrodisiac in Asia and China since the 3rd century B.C. and even in Europe, they acquired fame. The Danish medieval herbalist H. Harpenstreng noted the value of cloves, stating that they “makes the man desire the woman”, and that they promote digestion.

Coriander - The book of The Arabian nights tells a tale of a merchant who had been childless for 40 years and but was cured by a concoction that included coriander. That book is over 1000 years old so the history of coriander as an aphrodisiac dates back far into history. Cilantro was also know to be used as an "appetite" stimulant.

Fennel -The Greeks regarded fennel as a potent sexual stimulant. During the Dionysus festivities, crowns of fennel leaves were worn, and leaves and seeds were used as aphrodisiacs (A. Tschirch: Handbuch der Pharmacognosie, Leipzig 1909-17). A medieval Danish manuscript (H. Harpestreng: Danske Laegebog) states that old vipers eat fennel for rejuvenation; so, it was therefore claimed equally useful for old men. Wedeck, in A Dictionary of Aphrodisiacs, quotes a Hindu prescription for sexual vigour containing fennel juice, milk, honey, ghee, liquorice and sugar. Further, he states that fennel soup is reputed in some Mediterranean regions to stimulate desire.

Fenugreek - they are regarded as a remedy for impotence, and were included in the earliest list of Chinese medical plants.

Garlic - The 'heat' in garlic is said to stir sexual desires. Make sure you and your partner share it together. Garlic has been used for centuries to cure everything from the common cold to heart ailments. This is a good time for moderation. Enjoy a pasta with a lightly garlicky sauce and it and lead up to something spicy in the bedroom later.

Ginger - ginger root raw, cooked or crystallized is a stimulant to the circulatory system. Perhaps a stir-fry with freshly grated ginger can stir something spicy up in the bedroom later.

Honey - Many medicines in Egyptian times were based on honey including cures for sterility and impotence.

Mustard - Believed to stimulate the sexual glands and increase desire. Prepare a tenderloin roast (filet mignon) for two with a mustard and peppercorn sauce.

Nutmeg - was highly prized by Chinese women as an aphrodisiac. In quantity nutmeg can produce a hallucinogenic effect. It is alleged to have a subtle aphrodisiac effect in far smaller doses (less than half a nut should suffice), and has been used for such purposes by Hindus, Arabs, Greeks and Romans. In the Orient it was especially highly prized amongst women, and according to the Indian herbalist H. K. Bakhru, nutmeg mixed with honey and a half-boiled egg will prolong the duration of the sexual act, if taken an hour before intercourse. A light sprinkling of the spice in a warm pumpkin soup can help spice up your evening.

Oysters - These succulent mollusks are the classic aphrodisiac. And, there's research to support it: raw oysters are very high in zinc, which raises sperm and testosterone production, thus increasing libido. Oysters are also a source of dopamine. Casanova is said to have eaten 50 raw oysters every day .

Pineapple -Ananas cosmosus-- diuretic, invigoration! Has a great digestive effect, a purifying effect. Use fresh fruit juice. For aphrodisiac effects to work-- eat pineapple with chili powder or mixed with honey and rum. A small glass taken daily promotes energies of love.

Pomegranate - is a culinary symbol of Aphrodite by the ancient Greeks. The rinds are rich in tannins. In the studies was observed that people who drank pomegranate juice reported an improvement in their overall health along with an increase in libido.

Saffron - a rare and exotic herb, has been used through ages in rituals of beauty and love. Saffron it can reputedly make erogenous zones even more sensitive as well as having a hormone-like effect. It is not known which of the constituents are responsible for saffron’s reputation as an aphrodisiac; however, the orange colour is due to crocin, a di-gentiobiose ester of crocetin, a carotenoid compound. Both crocin and crocetin have been shown to play an important role in the sex processes of algae of the Chlamydomonas group.

Tantric Philosophy and Food:

Many diverse cultures have evolved rituals centering on the partaking of food as a sacrament that is believed to possess spiritual qualities. This concept is found in the Christian as well as the Hebrew tradition. In Tantric philosophy all food is dedicated to nourishing spirituality. Eating is also a highly erotic experience. Take care to extract the very most from shared meals. Eat in moderation and choose food that is seasonal, learn from experience what is suitable or unsuitable. According to the Gheranda Samhita, at the beginning of Hatha Yoga practice one should refrain from eating excessively acid, bitter, salty or pungent foods. The same text gives good advice about quantity, advising that "half the stomach should be filled with food, one quarter with water or other liquid, and one quarter should be kept empty to aid the practice of breath control".

The Yoga teachings point out that the mental attitude of the person who prepares food permeates the food in a subtle way. A good Yogi can tell the temperament of the person who has cooked a meal by eating the food. Likewise, the mental attitude of the person eating the food affects the digestive process, so don't get irritable when either preparing or eating food. It's best to meditate, contemplate or sing while preparing food as these activities help to focus the mind and add to the sacramental quality of the meal. Try also to be aware of the properties of the food as you mix together the various ingredients. Above all, don't taste the food while you preparing it, for this robs it of its sacramental quality. No meal can truly be served as an offering if it has already been tasted. In the East if a meal has been sampled, it is considered eaten and no longer fit to be served. When cooking, the desires of the self should be be set aside.

Yoga teachings categorize food into three main types, according to their effects on body and mind. These three types are related to the triad of trinity of forces that pervades all things. The first category is known as sattvic, which directly nourishes creative energy and attitude. It includes milk, honey, butter, dairy products, nuts, grains, most fruits and all vegetables that grow above the ground. All these foods are related to the "sweet" primary taste in particular and are credited with the capacity to stimulate the creative and erotic sentiments. The higher nature of mind is also termed with sattvic, and has conscious awareness as its essential property. All sattvic foods stimulate the primordial elements of space and air in the bodily vehicle, and therefore promote growth and creativity. This category is commonly termed the "food of the Gods", the "milk and honey" of the Biblical tradition. Indian medical texts declare that the taste essence of food is transformed successively into blood, flesh, fat, bone, marrow and finally semen or ovum. The taste of food thus influences the taste of sexual secretions. The texts suggest that "the best semen (for healthy offspring) is that which is sweet, non-irritant, and of transparent white crystal - like appearance".

The second type of food - rajasic, induces the passionate sentiment. This category includes all foods that are heating and stimulating, such as the root vegetables, spices, salts, most fish, red meat and chicken. These foods are related to the salty and pungent primary tastes in particular, as well as to combinations of taste that include the sweet. Animal products are considered suitable for human consumption only when very fresh and carefully prepared; otherwise long term side effects are produced. Rajasic foods stimulate senses, have heating and burning effects, are difficult to digest and produce many waste products. The effect of such foods on the sexual secretions varies, depending on the ability of the individual to transform these morbid aspects. Generally, the semen becomes thick and slimy, with salty, fleshy or fetid qualities and odor. The secretions from the Yoni take on the same characteristics.

The third type of food - tamasic, is evocative of the furious and destructive sentiments. In this category are included all foods that derange or distort the senses, either through their excessively pungent, bitter or astringent tastes or through inner putrefactions. Particularly strong foods such as onions, garlic, and chili peppers, as well as foods that are cooked in heavy oil or deep-fried, create destructive feelings unless prepared with great knowledge and care. The heavier meats and eggs fall into the tamasic group also; generally, any food that creates excessive body odors or flatulence is of this category. Tamasic foods eventually bring about an increase in the elements of earth and water, which manifest in the body as mucus, fat and general physical heaviness. Sensitivity is greatly diminished and a very materialistic attitude to life predominates. Sexual secretions take on unpleasant characteristics and sexual intercourse ceases to be sensitive love making and reverts to a blind striving for purely physical satisfactions.

Recipes, based on knowledge about food containing aphrodisiac proprieties:

Milk drink with almonds, flavored with saffron and cardamom:

  • 25 almonds
  • 4 cups of milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 5-6 crushed green cardamoms
  • 10-15 strands saffron soaked in warm milk
  1. Soak almonds in hot water for 15 minutes and peel the skin and grind the almonds to a paste adding half a cup of water.
  2. Bring the milk to a boil in a heavy bottomed vessel and add the sugar and almond paste and then on low heat keep stirring once in while till the milk is reduced to 3/4 th of its quantity. Ensure that you stir so that it doesn't burn.
  3. Add the cardamom powder and stir well. Turn off the heat.
  4. Soak saffron strands in some warm milk and stir it well and add it to milk drink. Serve chilled.

Vanilla Aphrodisiac Smoothie

  • 1 cup Milk
  • 15 Whole Cloves
  • 15 Cardamom pods
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks
  • 1 Vanilla pod, split
  • 1 cup Vanilla frozen Yogurt
  • Honey to taste
  1. Place milk, cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon in a saucepan.
  2. Scrape in vanilla seeds from pod. Heat milk but do not boil.
  3. Remove from heat and allow it to cool, then refrigerate until chilled. Strain milk into a blender goblet and discard spices.
  4. Add frozen yogurt and honey to taste.
  5. Blend until smooth and frothy. Delicious!

Lovers Salad — Insalata Degli Innamorati

  • 1 Avocado
  • 300 g shelled, boiled Shrimp, fresh or frozen
  • 2 Celery hearts diced
  • 4 Walnuts, shelled
  • Mayonnaise
  • Tomato ketchup
  • Cream
  1. Halve the skin, remove the pit stone and dice the pulp of the avocado into small pieces.
  2. Drop the shrimp into boiling water for 30 seconds and cool.
  3. Put the avocado in a bowl with the shrimp, the celery, and the chopped walnuts.
  4. Dress with a pink sauce obtained by mixing 4 tbsp. of lemon , mayonnaise with 1 tbsp each of ketchup and cream. Fill the avocado halves with the mixture and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Crispy Artichokes Frisée salad

  • 4 large globe artichokes
  • 1/2 cup toasted unsalted pistachios
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • 3 cups olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Small piece of parmigiano reggiano
  • Oil for frying
  1. Trim off the top of the artichoke leaves. Cut the artichokes into eighths. Remove and discard the fuzzy choke and set aside the artichoke pieces in water with lemon juice.
  2. For the aioli, put the pistachios, garlic and egg yolk into a food processor. While the machine is running, add 1/2 of the oil slowly, then the lemon juice. Add the rest of the oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat 3 inches of oil in a pan to 325° F. Remove artichokes from water, pat dry and place in the oil. Fry until artichokes are dark golden brown and leaves are crispy.
  4. Remove from oil and lay out on paper towels. To serve place frisée on a plate. Place 2 Tablespoons of aioli in the center of the plate with eight artichoke pieces around. Shave parmigiano reggiano over the salad.

Hot Toddy

(serves 4)

  • 1 1/4 fresh made Darjeeling tea
  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) whiskey
  • 1/4 cup ginger wine
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  1. In a saucepan, combine the tea, whiskey, wine, cloves and cinnamon.
  2. Warm over the gentle heat, don't boil. Allow to infuse for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Strain into mugs and serve immediately.

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