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Blog - Valentine

Made with Love: Swarnadwipa

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2020 marked our 20th wedding anniversary. We were planning to make a trip to Provence where we spent our honeymoon. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, we had to cancel the trip. To make it up, I want to plan a nice Valentine's Day dinner. I remember very well our first Valentine's date. We went to the best steakhouse and had surf and turf dinner. Our palate was not as educated as now. The filet mignon was cooked well-done and dressed with A-1 sauce. This time, I want to elevate the surf and turf using our Swarnadwipa spice mix. I want to make a velvety, luxurious Swarnadwipa sauce to complement the lobster.

Not many people knew the story behind our Swarnadwipa spice blend. Part of it is because we don’t promote it that much. It is the most time-consuming spice blend that we produce. The bulk of the ingredients are made from scratch. More importantly, it’s very close to my heart. In the beginning, I wanted to share it with only the right chefs, the ones who appreciate Southeast Asian flavors and can incorporate them with French techniques. Swarnadwipa has coconut, kafir lime, lemongrass, etc. Only a handful of our beloved chefs know about this spice blend to this day. Ten years ago, I created Swarnadwipa dedicated to my wife, Esther, for our 10th wedding anniversary. I was inspired by one of her favorite foods growing up. I named it Swarnadwipa which means the Island of Gold. She is the love of my life. We met in high school and we’ve been together ever since.

We just received our weekly fresh winter black truffles shipment. They were beautiful. Fresh black truffles and lobster sounded so good. I couldn’t resist cooking the surf and turf for the weekend. I ordered Colossal Maine lobster tail online. I also got a couple of American Wagyu ribeye caps and smaller lobster tails at my local store. We were celebrating Valentine’s Day as a family. We needed extra lobster tails. They were also the perfect foundation (fond) for making the Swarnadwipa sauce.

It was Friday and I had all ingredients on hand. Cooking surf and turf was manageable. It took me less than two hours from start to finish. The flavor combination of the black truffles and lobster, Swarnadwipa sauce, and everyone’s reactions were very rewarding.Needless to say, the dinner was a success. I'm going to cook another surf and turf dinner again on February 14th.


2 American Wagyu ribeye cap or filet mignon

1 Maine lobster tail

2 smaller lobster tails

1/4 cup cognac

2 cups chicken stock

1-1/2 cup See Smell Taste Swarnadwipa™

4 kaffir lime leaves

1 egg yolk

1 lemongrass stalk

fresh black winter truffles (optional)

3 sprigs rosemary

1 whole garlic head, crushed

4 tbsp canola oil

unsalted butter

kosher salt

lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste


Lemongrass Butter

Lightly smack with the back of the knife dan roughly chop the lemongrass. Melt 125 grams unsalted butter in a small saucepan over low medium heat. Wait until foamy then add the lemongrass. Sauté the lemongrass for one minute. Cover the pan and turn off the heat. Let the butter infuse for 30 minutes.

Broiled Lobster Tail



Preheat the oven to broil setting. Cut the top shell lengthwise. Release and butterfly the meat on top of the shell. Squeeze half kaffir lime over it. If using truffles, put some slice truffles underneath the meat (shown) and stuff some truffle pieces inside the shell. Baste the lemongrass butter over the lobster meat before putting it in the oven. Depending on the size of the lobster tail, it may take 8-15 minutes to cook. Baste the lobster meat one more time halfway through cooking.

Pan-Seared Steak


Heat the oils on the frying pan. Salt the steak generously on each side. When the oil is hot, put the steak in. Throw in the butter, rosemary, and garlic. Baste the infused fat over the meat continuously. Depending on the thickness of the meat, cook each side for 3-5 minutes. Use a thermometer and check the internal temperature. For medium-rare, you want to take it out of the stove when it reads 125°F. Let it rest and loosely covered. 

Swarnadwipa Sauce


Cut two smaller lobster tails in half along the shell. Put the oils on the frying pan and let it heat until you see light smoke. Put the lobster tails in with the meat facing down. Put in 2 tbsp of unsalted butter. Sear the lobster meat for 2 minutes before flipping the shell side for another 2 minutes. Put the slightly roasted lobster tails aside. You may save the leftover oils aside for other use. Do not wash the pan. Put the pan back on the stove for making the Swarnadwipa sauce.


Chiffonade the kaffir lime leaves. Put in the butter and start scraping the pan with the whisk. Let the butter become foamy before turning off the heat dan pour in the cognac. Flambé the pan. Make sure the heat is off. Let the alcohol burn off before turning the heat back on. Keep scraping until most of the cognac evaporates. 


Pour the stock in dan keep scraping/whisking. Add the Swarnadwipa. Keep whisking dan reduce the stock to about half. It should slightly thicken. 


If not thick enough, add another 1-1/2 cup of Swarnadwipa. Turn off the heat and strain the stock. Whisk the egg yolk in the small mixing bowl. Slowly pour in the warm strained stock while keep whisking the yolk. Put the mixture back into a medium saucepan. Turn the heat to medium. Keep whisking until thicken. The sauce should be clingy around the whisk. Add the lemon juice to thin the sauce a bit. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Ready to serve!

Arrange the lobster tail and black truffles. Cut the steak into 1/4-inch slices. Pour the Swarnadwipa sauce and enjoy! 


In this recipe

See Smell Taste Swarnadwipa™

Fresh Black Winter Truffles

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