This Valentine’s day, put your culinary skill to good use with these easy-to-make recipes.
Despite being a cliché, the fastest route to access a person's heart remains through their stomach. And Valentine's Day is the perfect time to show off your culinary skills and express your love for your special someone. But if your best kitchen creation includes a variation of instant noodles, preparing an elaborate meal could seem nerve-racking. But making a dish for your loved one shouldn't be rocket science and these chefs share recipes that you can make easily.
Chilled Watermelon and Roasted Bell Pepper Gazpacho Soup
Red bell peppers- 250 gm
Watermelon- 500 gm
Soaked bread- 1
Salt- to taste
Black pepper- A pinch
Celery- 15 gms
Yellow/green pepper- 100 gms
Tomato- 1/2 no
Coriander- few sprigs
Tomato juice- 2 tbsp
Chaat Masala- 5 gms
Mix roasted red bell peppers, watermelon, jalapeño, little soaked bread, celery, salt, pepper, chat masala. Blend and strain.
To make salad, chop 3 peppers, jalapeño, tomato, coriander, tomato juice, pepper, salt, celery, chat masala
Serve the soup along with salad topped on a puri.
Roasted Beetroot and Dill Risotto
Beetroot- 1 large
Cooked arborio- 1 cup
Onion- 1 small
Garlic- 2-3 cloves
Olive oil- 2 tbsp
Parmesan grated- 2 tbsp
Dill leaves – few sprigs
Asparagus – 4/5
Paneer – 100gms
Cornflour/ tempura flour – to coat
Olive Oil – 20 ml
Oil – to deep fry
Salt – to taste
Pepper – to taste
Saute onion, garlic, add beetroot. Add cooked arborio rice. Adjust seasoning. Add chopped dill leaves and handful of parmesan for a creamy texture.
For garnishing, add thin strips of batter fried asparagus and paneer
—by Chef Dhwani Agarwal, Sr. Sous Chef, Farzi Cafe
Churros with tequila dulce de leche, salted chocolate and strawberry rosemary compote
Butter 100 gms
Flour 188 gms
Strawberry Rosemary Compote:
Salted Chocolate Compote:
Fresh Cream 100ml
For churros, combine water, and butter together in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Once the mixture starts to boil, take off the flame, and add flour and mix vigorously. Set aside to cool. Once the dough has cooled down, add eggs one at a time and mix well. Now add the vanilla essence, and mix the dough and set aside.
Now, fill the dough mixture in a piping bag with nozzle, and pipe out the churros in hot oil (150c), and fry till golden brown. Once the churros are golden brown, remove from the oil, rest in on tissue paper to soak extra oil, and then dust cinnamon sugar on to the churros. Serve Churros alongside with salted chocolate compote, tequila dulce de leche compote, and strawberry rosemary compote.
For the caramel compote, melt all ingredients on double boiler. Add sea salt and set aside to cool.
For the strawberry, rosemary compote, heat the ingredients together till a syrupy texture is attained. Blend all ingredients together, and set aside to cool.
—Image and Recipe inputs by Chef Esdras Ochoa at Sanchos, Khar
Spicy stir-fried noodles with chilli and basil
Flat rice noodles: 180 gms
Red chilli: 5 gms
Basil: 5 gms
Carrots: 2 gms
Chinese cabbage: 2 gms
Kaffir lime leaves: 4 to 5
Garlic: 10 grams
Hot basil leaves: 4 to 5
Young peppercorns: 2
Dark soy sauce: 10ml
Vegetable oil: 10ml
Salt: to taste
In a large frying pan, heat some oil over medium-high heat and saute the garlic and chilli till translucent.
Add the Chinese cabbage, carrots, Kaffir lime leaves, young peppercorns and cook half-way.
Once the vegetables are half-way cooked add the steamed/boiled rice noodles to the pan
Add the dark soy sauce, light soy sauce and some sugar and salt (as per taste)
Toss and stir until the noodles are coated with the sauce and pick its colour
Turn off the heat and stir in the basil leaves in. Partially cover the pan and let the basil wilt, about one minute
Garnish with basil on the top and serve with young shallots and lime wedges at the side
— The recipe is by Chef Prem Pradhan, Head Chef - Nara..
Red Velvet Cake
All-purpose flour: 3 cups
Granulated sugar: 3 cups
Cornstarch: 1/2 cup
Unsweetened cocoa powder: 1/2 cup
Baking soda:1 tbsp
Baking powder:1½ tsp
Large eggs: 4
Warm water:1 1/4 cups
Vegetable oil: ½ cup
Vanilla extract:1 tsp
Cream cheese, softened: 200gm
Butter softened:1 cup
Powdered sugar:4 cups
Vanilla extract 1tsp
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 9-inch cake rounds. Dust with flour and tap out the excess.
Mix flour, sugar, corn-starch, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a stand mixer using low speed until combined.
Add eggs, buttermilk, warm water, oil, vanilla. Beat on medium speed until smooth. This should take just a couple of minutes.
Divide batter among the three prepared pans.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until the cake meets the toothpick test (stick a toothpick in and it comes out clean).
Cool on wire racks for 15 minutes and then turn out the cakes onto the racks and allow to cool completely before frosting.
Make the frosting. In a large bowl, beat together butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer for best results. Add in vanilla extract.
Beat until combined. Beat in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time until frosting is smooth.
Assemble and frost the completely cooled cake.
— Ashvini Kumar, Executive Chef at Four Points by Sheraton, Mumbai.