Indian Afternoon Tea

Thursday, November 29th, 2018

12924586_493693834165759_4425210495566679292_nLast year, I cooked an Indian meal for these beautiful ladies who raise funds for a charity called CRY Cardiac Risk in the Young, here’s the website, but be warned, it will make you cry!

Last year’s meal was a two course, usual Indian meal.  This year, I knew I wanted my Indian Afternoon Tea Experience and I never even discussed the menu with Sue, she booked and paid me to do this.

I chose the menu a couple of days before:

Gol  Gappas or Pani Puri


Little wheat balls, stuffed with salad and a home-made tamarind dip, they are usually stuffed with spicy cold potatoes and chickpeas so I have given this dish my own upgrade.

Veg Pakoras


The ones I made were vegan and gluten-free, I chose sweet potato, usual potato, red onions, aubergine, spinach, peppers and lots of chef crush, find the recipe here:



Tandoori Chicken


Take 500-1kg of chicken or vegetables and marinade in 200 grammes of Greek Yoghurt, with a 1/2 tsp of salt, juice of half a lemon, 1 tbsp tomato puree, 1 tbsp oil, and a sachet of the tandoori spice mix.

Marinate for a minimum of half an hour or overnight.

Grill or bake until cooked through, basting with a little oil.

Serve in a warmed wrap with Salad and mango pickle.



I served my favourite four dips: Mint Raita, Beetroot Raita, Chilli dip and a fresh Tamarind dressing.

I also made spicy cucumber sandwiches which were just not necessary!



No afternoon tea is complete without scones so yes, I made them.

Cheese and Chilli (with a kick) and  Carrot and Cumin Scones, savoury, yet sweet, both served with clotted cream and chilli jam.


and the savoury nibbly bits

Cheese and chutney swirls take ready-made puff pastry, cut into rectangles, spread some cheese and your favourite pickle over the rectangles, roll into a ball, flatten and bake in a hot oven.

Spicy nuts with honey, I took a selection of nuts (500g) and spread 2 tbsp of honey over them and 2 tsp of garam masala and 2 tbsp of oil, coated the nuts and baked for 15 mins in a warm oven (170c), giving the nuts a shake every five mins.




Cardamom Melting Moments, these are simple, fragile biscuits. I prefer them with lemon or the usual vanilla ones.  They are so simple to make:

take 200g of sr flour, 125g of cornflour, 70g icing sugar, 225g of butter and a tsp of your favourite essence or a 1/2 tsp of crushed cardamom or fennel seeds.  Pop these ingredients in your food processor and whizz to a ball.  Take tiny teaspoons of the mix and roll into balls and flatten with a fork.  Bake in preheated oven 160c for 12-15 mins.

Allow to cool and either brush with glace icing, melted chocolate or make a butter icing to sandwich them together.


Cakes for me are my absolute favourite.  Growing up, I lived across the road from a beautiful old-fashioned baker and many an hour was sat in our front room, with me dreaming of cake.  Any spare pocket money was spent buying their iced cupcakes and the hardest decision was a glace cherry or hundreds and thousands.  I am pretty sure that I am addicted to sugar.

Chaat Coconut Cake 

I found a recipe on the BBC Good Food Website, but I thought the spicing was too much so I used a teaspoon of my chaat masala and what an amazing traybake.  So, I would suggest removing the ginger, cinnamon nutmeg, cardamom and cloves and replace them with a tsp of my chaat masala.  It really works well!

I used my fine grater for the stem ginger icing, was delicious!

Here is the recipe link, just for you!

Chocolate fairy cakes, I am of an age where fairy cakes are just the right size.  I whizz the batter up in my stand mixer and pop teaspoons into cake cases and bake for 15 minutes.



Orange  Polenta Cake

I am not sure where I found this recipe from and occasionally, I grind a teaspoon of fennel seeds to the cake batter, this cake is lush and so worth the very small effort of baking it!


  • 200 grams soft unsalted butter (plus some for greasing)
  • 200 grams caster sugar
  • 200 grams ground almonds
  • 100 grams cornmeal
  • 1½ teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • zest of 2 oranges (save juice for syrup)


  • juice of 2 oranges
  • 125 grams icing sugar


  • Line the base of a 23cm / 9inch springform cake tin with baking parchment and grease its sides lightly with butter.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/gas mark 4/ 350°F.
  • Beat the butter and sugar till pale and whipped, either by hand in a bowl with a wooden spoon, or using a freestanding mixer.
  • Mix together the almonds, polenta and baking powder, and beat some of this into the butter-sugar mixture, followed by 1 egg, then alternate dry ingredients and eggs, beating all the while.
  • Finally, beat in the lemon zest and pour, spoon or scrape the mixture into your prepared tin and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes.
  • It may seem wobbly but, if the cake is cooked, a cake tester should come out cleanish and, most significantly, the edges of the cake will have begun to shrink away from the sides of the tin.  Remove from the oven to a wire cooling rack, but leave in its tin.
  • Make the syrup by boiling together the orange juice and icing sugar in a smallish saucepan.
  • Once the icing sugar’s dissolved into the juice, you’re done.
  • Prick the top of the cake all over with a cake tester (a skewer would be too destructive), pour the warm syrup over the cake, and leave to cool before taking it out of its tin.


Indian Sweets

For this afternoon treat, I chose Barfi milk pudding, this is so simple to make, but I still prefer the cake!  I have taught myself to make a variety of Indian sweets but you could buy them in for ease, they are so fiddly and temperamental to make.

Hope you enjoy reading my afternoon tea blog, remember you can book me to teach you to cook these goodies or I can bring the special occasion baking to you.

To get in touch you can ring me 07955 662 060 or email me, Look forward to hearing from you soon, bye for now.



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About Lajina

Lajina Leal, Lajina Masala

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.

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