Celebrate Aphrodisiac Cuisine at Mela

Things will be heating up at Mela in Shaftesbury Avenue this Valentine’s. Between 10 February and 10 March, the restaurant will be host to the romantic Ambari Ayurveda Food Festival, which celebrates aphrodisiac cuisine. Renowned chef Raminder Malhotra will join forces with exec chef Uday Seth and bring together two great strands of Indian civilisation – Ayurveda, the ancient system of holistic healing and the art of Awadhi cooking – the perfect marriage of health and hedonism. The menu offers a tantalising taste of food different from traditional Indian dishes – seafood lovers should opt for the piri piri scallops followed by a lobster pepper fry. Some of the spices used in the food festival will include Ajwain (a shrub whose seeds have aphrodisiac qualities when crushed and fried in ghee), saffron (one of the most expensive spices in the world prized for its colour, fragrance and ability to stimulate the erogenous zones), cloves (aromatic, dried flower buds that can freshen breath and fight pain) and ginger (offers a warming action for internal organs and can also help with impotence).