Chef Tania TovarShe came, she fed and she left a distinct flavour—when Chef Tania Tovar came to the Eros Hotel, New Delhi

words: Ambica Gulati

It’s Valentine! Cupid is busy shooting his arrows and I am still trying to figure out what to do. And coming back from the airport, around 1 am, I saw the flower sellers wide awake, preparing fresh bouquets, and couples busy gifting them. No one was waiting for the dawn of valentine. But I am thinking I’ll try something different this Valentine. Something Mexican with Tequila shots and dahlias. I got a flavour of Mexico at the Eros Hotel when 24-year-old Chef Tania Tovar had come for the Tex Mex festival. It was a lovely dinner with the Chef feeding a group of us authentic Mexican dishes. Maybe, I could replicate that experience at home, I could try!

Pixlr_20150116195244112Waving the Mexico flag, we had started with a Corralejo Tequila shot. This was a smooth one; it just flowed in, no coughing and no splitting the stomach into pieces. And then came the yum Avocado and Corn Salad. Following this was the Baby Squid, Strawberry and Pine Salad. The menu was petty large with live counters. What I liked best were the Mexican Rice Dumplings, Fish al Pastor (Fish cooked with pineapple and butter milk), Zucchini Filled with Rice and Corn, Molletes (Baked bread and smashed beans with tomato salsa), Vegetable Fajita, Sweet Potato and Bean Enchilada. And had ended with the most amazing Sweet Corn Cake, Coconut Dumplings, Tequila Truffles.

This was the Chef’s first visit to India and we learned that Molletes and Tacos are Mexico’s answer to street food. The Mexicans also love a little chilli in their food. Mexican rum mixed with juices and other spirits makes for a good cocktail.

Not that I can appease him with chilli, but I could try a recipe Chef Tania shared along with Tequila shots.

Esquites: Hot corn-based starter flavoured with chilli, cheese and lemon.

Kernel of two fresh corns, boiled till soft
50 gm butter
2 sliced cloves of garlic
½ sliced onion
2 tbspn mayonnaise sauce
2 tbspn olive oil
1 no lemon
200 ml water
100 gm ricotta cheese
1 tsp arbol chilli powder

Take out corn kernel form the cob.
Cook the corn kernels in water with salt for 40 minutes.
Sauté garlic and onion in butter, add the corn kernels. Pour some water. Drain and reserve both the kernels and the broth.
Serve hot with a topping of chili powder, mayonnaise, cheese and lemon juice.
Tania’s suggestion: couple of bay leaves in winter makes it even better and flavorful.

Tequila Truffles
20 ml of whipping cream
15 gm of glucose
100 gm of dark chocolate
20 softened butter
50 ml tequila
Melted chocolate
Cocoa powder

Heat the cream with the glucose to 38°C.
Add the dark chocolate and butter until integrate. Add the tequila, mix and let it stay in fridge till it gets hardened.
(Approx 25 min)
Make some little dumplings (12-14 gm approx) coat with melted chocolate then cover with cocoa powder.
Tania’s tip: Goes best with hot Cinnamon infused Black coffee

BloomsThere is also another option, if you don’t like cooking. Blooms, where the Tex Mex was held, can be a nice place for a date. It has the option of a buffet or a la carte. Or you could be with your valentine at Singh Sahib. There is ghazal and Indian khana.

Feb 14, 7 pm onwards
Blooms and Singh Sahib
Rs 2750 ++ with sparkling wine
Rs 3750 ++ with unlimited GH Mumm champagne

Another option at the same hotel is the plush Empress of China to delight your beloved over a candle-light dinner with unlimited beverages. Rs 2495 ++ per person

For details call: + 91 11 4122 3344 or email:

You don’t even need to rush around for a gift. Relish exquisite chocolate boxes, cakes, pastries and more at the St. Valentine’s Counter!

I am thinking about the multiple choices, but cupid still needs to strike its arrow for me to make the dinner or make it to dinner!

Also check: