Wednesday, October 4th, 2017
The summer is over and it’s all a little chilly, I don’t know where I have been and where the time has gone since I last wrote a blog.
The only way to remember is to look through my diary to remind myself of what I have been up to and actually, I have catered for some fabulous events, taught so many to cook healthy happy curries and we have had a family wedding so it’s been a lovely summer.
The Shrewsbury Food Festival feels like years ago, although only in June. I decided not to take a stall, teaching Indian cooking is where my passion lies and helping Chris Burt and Adrian Badland with their cooking school was a privilege, I won’t forget the experience in a hurry. So many highlights of that weekend, a special one, I “buddied” up with Martin Moyden, who provided the milk that he uses for his cheeses. The Montbeliarde cows were milked that morning and we had ten teams of two who turned the milk into paneer (an Indian Cheese), it was drained and very quickly stuffed into a bread to make parathas. We used Bennett and Dunn rapeseed oil and those beautiful Netherton pans. The teams even made a fresh tomato chutney. Total success, even if I say so myself.
There was the somosa cooking class in Shropshire Hills Discovery where we made somosas. We made vegetable somosas, pastries, dips and tea from scratch with Sam (my son) coming back from university to help, these somosas were actually made on the day, don’t they look so yummy?
I received a lovely testimonial from Martyn Jobe who also took lots of lovely photos on the day, here’s what he had to say about the cooking lesson: If you want to learn to cook, have fun, share with others and have an excellent Indian meal at the end… Take (risk) a cooking course with Lajina, you will feel so good after a session in the kitchen – better than therapy.
“If you want to learn to cook, have fun, share with others and have an excellent Indian meal at the end… Take (risk) a cooking course with Lajina, you will feel so good after a session in the kitchen – better than therapy”.
In July, I had a booking to do the catering for 150 at the Gin Jamboree festival in Shrewsbury. It’s been my biggest yet and we pulled it off with my fabulous team, thank you to Christine, Sam and Georgia.
There was a family wedding in August which means sari buying and lots of lovely family occasions to enjoy, it was a beautiful wedding and we wish our niece and her very lucky husband a healthy and happy future together.
There was a team building event with 10 apprentices at Ricoh, it started at 9 am with the youngsters making somosas, they went on to make a full Indian feast which they served to their mentors in the evening. The team at Ricoh, Andy and Claire, were so supportive and I felt we were a great team. Huge thank you to all at Ricoh and not to forget my important team, Jane, the PA who deserves a gold medal, Christine, not just for THOSE goody bags and Jane from Telford College who helped with the kitchen.
The teenagers look happy enough, don’t you agree?
Days later, there was another team corporate day at a doctor’s surgery, would you believe it, we turned the reception area into an Indian cooking school for an afternoon! Here’s a little video from the day:
Don’t those finished dishes look so fresh, healthy and tasty? They are standard when you book one of Lajina Masala’s events.
Somehow, we had a family wedding and two corporate events in ten days, it’s just quite incredible that we pulled it off and a huge thank you goes to you, our fabulous clients, our team and of course my family, Krish and Sam who just cause utter chaos (only joking).
I have helped Marcus Bean at Brompton Cooking School in Shrewsbury, there’s been a radio interview with Paul Shuttleworth on BBC Radio Shropshire and I was interviewed by Carl Jones for a business programme on Made In Birmingham TV.
The list doesn’t include the private cooking lessons/events and demos, a huge apology for not keeping upto date with my social medi, I struggled with time.
It’s been an exciting summer and still so much to look forward to with a demo at Grand Designs on Saturday 14th October, teaching a thalli class in Harborne Cookery school in Birmingham, my own cooking workshops taking place at the Telford Park School on the 28th October and 18th November.
Even more exciting, for you are the guaranteed tasty results when you use my spices, six in total, will very soon be available from my online shop. Big, big thanks to my friend Rob who takes lovely photos and a big thank you to my mentor and digital guru, Chris Haycock, couldn’t have done a fraction of what I do with you. All the spices are homemade, cleaned, roasted and ground by myself in my kitchen, I promise to introduce you to the four new ones very soon, bye for now.
Lajina Leal, Founder, Lajina Masala
Lajina had a Corporate Career as an Accountant for many years and whilst discussing an impending redundancy in an Indian restaurant with her friends, they persuaded her to set up an Indian Cooking School.
The fun started in October 2013 and the business has grown from strength to strength.