Lajina's Blog


Yule Adore a little Spice This Christmas – Day Thirteen

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

Not sure which of my six spices to use? Here’s a little chart you could print, cut out and stick to your fridge. A handy little reminder of where and when you would use which spice mix. All my spice mixes are handmade, by me in my home kitchen. The art of spicing cannot be compromised […]


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Yule Adore a little Spice This Christmas – Day Twelve

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

We are still snowed in and I refuse to drive in it so the next best thing is to catch up with house jobs, emails and cook a delicious lunch for us. For lunch, I made this curry, adding a little extra chilli, just for me. http://www.lajinamasala.com/recipe/chicken-pasanda/ Why is it special?  It appeals to everybody’s taste.  […]


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Yule Adore a little Spice This Christmas – Day Eleven

Monday, December 11th, 2017

So, toadToday, Monday 11th December, I have woke up to crisp snow (lots of it) and I have a meeting in Birmingham.  The main M54 motorway was closed and I couldn’t get a taxi to the station and the trains were delayed. I knew there were problems yesterday, with fellow business owners, stuck in Shropshire.  We […]


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Yule Adore a little Spice This Christmas – Day Ten

Sunday, December 10th, 2017

Day Ten of my Advent Calendar takes me to a gloriously winter’s day, with inches of snow. It’s snow joke here in beautiful Shropshire and Mr Leal himself got me with a snowball fight.  Sam’s at uni so we ventured out into the cold to play like kids. We aren’t the only ones who have been […]


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Yule Adore a little Spice This Christmas – Day Nine

Saturday, December 9th, 2017

It’s beginning to feel ALOT like Christmas and this year, I have helped with Santa’s Sleigh with the Newport Rotary Lite club.  They are an informal Rotary Club, half their members are women and their mission is to fundraise and help others. Tonight, I helped with the Santa Sleigh and loved every minute of it.  […]


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Yule Adore a little Spice This Christmas – Day Eight

Friday, December 8th, 2017

When my head hit the pillow last night, I ignored the snow warnings.  As I left the house at 6.30am yesterday morning, there was no frost or ice to clear from my windscreen and dare I say it?  It was actually quite warm.  So when I woke this morning, I was surprised to see it […]


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Yule Adore a little Spice This Christmas – Day Seven

Thursday, December 7th, 2017

Day Seven of my Advent Calander is a blog full of love, a reminder of the beautiful people who do kind, selfless things each day, in the hope that nobody suffers the same heartache that they have had to endure. My mentor and good friend, Chris Haycock,  the genius behind my digital marketing and brand, recently […]


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Yule Adore a little Spice This Christmas – Day six

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

Today has been a super busy day, the best kind of day you can have. I took a taster menu to a corporate client group for guests to try, a brilliant way to showcase my business. The menu I cooked was lamb kebabs, tandoori chicken, my special salad, served with popadoms, sev noodles, beetroot raita, chilli […]


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Yule Adore a little Spice This Christmas – Day Five

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

Start thinking about your curry loving friends, a little spice sachet in their stocking or secret Santa gift.  Maybe a personal cooking lesson with me. Today has been very productive, cooking and prepping for the next two days, tomorrow is all about tasters of nibbles for a corporate event and Thursday is cooking for a charity […]


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Yule Adore a little Spice This Christmas – Day Four

Monday, December 4th, 2017

A quick recipe for Spicy Nuts are one of my favourite nibbles and you can actually follow this tip with drained chickpeas. Great little nibble to go with your tipple. 250g whole nuts, used mixed, almonds, cashews or one tin of drained chickpeas 1 level teaspoon of garam masala 1 tbsp cooking oil 1 tbsp […]


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Yule Adore a little Spice This Christmas – Day Three

Sunday, December 3rd, 2017

I love to teach you to cook Indian food,  spices are the trickiest part of cooking Indian food, so I spice especially for you. Have 30+ spices, use them up quick, roast this one, grind that one…keep this one whole, confused, I haven’t even started to talk about spicing yet. The solution is for me […]


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Yule Adore a little Spice This Christmas – Day Two

Saturday, December 2nd, 2017

Welcome to Day two of my Yule Adore a little Spice Blog. Small Business Saturday is today and the Buy From Team recently interviewed me and that’s perfect for today’s blog. Just off to a school fayre in Shrewsbury where I will talk about teaching Indian cooking and my spice blends. This interview is perfect for today, […]


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Yule Adore a little Spice This Christmas – Day One

Friday, December 1st, 2017

Lajina Masala Advent Calendar is a celebration of my business success, sharing a daily blog until Christmas. There will be recipes, tips, behind the scene information and I welcome your ideas or questions that you would like to Day one is a quick reflection back to one of the interesting projects that I have the privilege to […]


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What would you expect at one of my cooking workshops?

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

Hiya I am Lajina, I set up a business in October 2013 to teach home-style Indian cooking, I have six handmade spices to help you on your cooking journey. I am a self-taught home cook, learning from TV, books and experimenting when I became a mum, to my son, Sam whose now 20.  Most of […]


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Curry Masala

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

Ladies, gentlemen, teenagers and little people, I would like to introduce you to my curry masala.  It’s National Curry Week, the new website shop has gone live and it’s time to introduce you to our little family of spices.  These little sachets of flavour guaranteed to turn your cooking skills from zero to hero as […]


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A whistle stop tour of my spice box

Monday, October 9th, 2017

It is National Curry week and I think it’s time I did a blog about the spices I use.  My spicing and style of cooking is self-taught with lots of tips for healthier and happier meals.  If you follow my style, you will learn very quickly how to adapt recipes with your favourite ingredients and […]


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Goodbye Summer and Hello Curry.

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 […]


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Sizzling Somosa Making at Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre

Monday, July 24th, 2017

A delicious morning of somosa making at Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre in Craven Arms. There was a small group learning how to make somosa from scratch. Here’s the summary in photos: Meet Martyn and Maisie, two of my somosa making experts for the day. Martyn generously brought his camera along to capture some moments. Even the best […]


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Add some Spice and Sizzle to make your Curry-ful Corporate Event

Friday, July 7th, 2017

Instead of a blog from me, I have an article from the lovely Kim Gilmour from Connect Consultancy, she specialises in marketing, social media, project development and she’s a training expert.  Kim talks about the corporate team buildings I deliver, thank you, Kim. Everyone loves a curry, don’t they? So why not spice things up […]


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A career change for me…….

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for each of you that read my blogs, support me, cook with me and generally guide me through this fabulous foodie journey. Today is a special day for me, time for another career change. Go back to the science lab or be a private detective for the […]


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My very Own Grand Designs in London’s Excel

Monday, May 8th, 2017

Many of you may know that I have done a demo at Grand Designs at the NEC in Birmingham, two years in a row. I have learnt so much from the earlier two demos and was determined to get my third one spot on. What does spot on mean?  It means to highlight the incredible good […]


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And… I even bring the kitchen sink!

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

Many of you may be thinking, I have been quiet for a while, huge apologies to those of you who have been waiting with baited breath for my next blog along with all the excitement that my tasty little snippets bring! There has been lots of planning going on, so glad of my previous life as […]


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My top tips in the Indian kitchen

Saturday, March 11th, 2017

My top tips in the Indian kitchen, written especially for YOU, guaranteed to assist you as you get inventive with your spicing. Cook an onion,  really well for curry, it’s a myth that you need to use lots of oil or butter, a splash of oil will do, use a little water to cool the […]


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Curry is the Food of Love……

Monday, February 13th, 2017

Are you looking for the ultimate romantic Valentine’s Day?  Well, look no further, I have the solutions you are looking for to sizzle up your day. It is well known that the natural power of spices can leave you warm and fuzzy inside, so why not let the natural warmth of my spices be the perfect […]


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Lohri Greetings from Lajina

Friday, January 13th, 2017

A lovely celebration, always on 13th January, a nice excuse to break the new year diet (the thought never even crossed my mind). Lohri is the end of the coldest days of winter, celebrating the passing of the winter solstice.   It’s seen as a harvest festival and a celebration of new additions to the […]


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Seven Top Tips for healthy Indian Cooking

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

It’s New Year’s Eve and the importance of my fat fighting mission for 2017 is at the forefront of my mind. If you have been following my blog, you may well know that I am planning a skydive and need to lose weight.  The sense of urgency has kicked in and I need to get focused […]


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Super Speedy Somosas with Christmas leftovers

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

Let’s face it, Christmas leftovers are always yummy, but sometimes, we have way too many leftovers and it’s nice to make something a little spicy and tasty, these somosas are an easy recipe, which I tried out, especially for you and if you have the patience, they are delicious with drinks or part of your […]


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My radio interview at Seabury School

Friday, December 9th, 2016

I received an email request in June,  to ask if I would like to be interviewed by pupils at a school who have their own radio station, the keen entrepreneur in me couldn’t resist and sent dates over immediately. The night before my secret mission, Corinna, my lovely friend offered to keep me company. Seabridge Primary […]


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Top 5 Curry Suggestions as stocking filler gifts

Sunday, December 4th, 2016

Three weeks today, we will be opening our Christmas presents and stockings, some of you will have Lajina Masala vouchers to present to your loved ones, particularly exciting as they will be cooking with me and taking goodies back for you to share.  A gift that will teach skills in the Indian kitchen and you […]


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Healthy eating and fund raising for 2017, Lajina Masala Style

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

That’s right, goal setting is on my mind, having never really been one to set goals, possibly because I was brought up to believe in Karma and the only goal that really mattered was ensuring you went to a better place after death. My own life experience and setting up my business has opened so […]


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Diwali Greetings

Sunday, October 30th, 2016

What’s not to love about Diwali?  We used to light our house with candles, the only time candles were lit in my childhood was either when we had a power cut or Diwali. Festival of Lights When you only light fire hazardous candles once a year, light fireworks with your guests and not forgetting the […]


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Indian Cooking Workshops

Saturday, October 29th, 2016

Have you been thinking of booking a cooking a workshop with me and didn’t know what to expect? A workshop is an ideal and affordable way to learn some tricks in the Indian Kitchen, the classes are small and friendly and are ideal for learning spicing techniques.  It’s perfect as gifts for keen foodies to […]


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Cooking at home for your loved ones

Friday, October 21st, 2016

In my younger years, I could cook enough to get by and then I was blessed with my beautiful baby and becoming his mother was the saddest and happiest time of my life, (my father had just passed away) I wanted to do the best for my new baby, always, it was non-negotiable, I remember […]


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A Simple Spice Box

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

The Indian kitchen has its’ own complicated art of spicing, it relies on spices to work together, the texture and sequence of cooking is important and there’s always something new to learn.  In modern times, with us juggling family life and both parents with work commitments, it is easier to open a jar or get […]


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Learn to cook your favourite Indian dishes with Lajina

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

The million dollar question, Lajina how do you teach us to cook our favourite Indian dishes?  The answer is simple, for the past three years, I have been setting up and growing my business, knowing that the spicing of the Indian kitchen is complicated and the solution lies with my home-made masalas. My customers can […]


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To stuff or not to stuff? The love of a good paratha.

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

I have just written the recipe for a pumpkin paratha and it may have just opened a can of parathas!  A really well made paratha is difficult, it takes practise, but we are home cooks together, striving to have healthy, happy families and good nutrition is part of that, so, please just get stuck in. […]


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Black chickpea, butternut squash curry with Lajina Masala

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

Here’s my latest cooking video for you.


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Garam Masala

Friday, October 7th, 2016

My passion lies with teaching Indian cooking, the most difficult part of cooking is the spicing, the reason people shy away are complicated spices. Both my Masalas are home made, ground spices to allow you the freedom to create perfectly seasoned dishes in a flash.  Why home made spices you may wander?  The answer is […]


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Entertaining Indian Style – my top ten tips

Monday, October 3rd, 2016

So, you think it’s a great idea to throw an Indian dinner party? If I can, anybody can, I didn’t discover my cooking skills until we moved away from our favourite Halwai, the Indian treat shop, where you buy all those lovely somosas, pakoras, dips and lets not mention the gulab jhamuns or jalebis so as I […]


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Fancy an Indian?

Sunday, October 2nd, 2016

Do you often find yourself hunting around for the local take-away leaflet, you’ve left it too late and wished you had prepared your meal earlier?  I used to do the same but now, with a little planning, I can create tasty feasts with very little effort. There’s those glorious little pots of curry masalas which […]


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To Weigh or not to Weigh

Sunday, October 2nd, 2016

The Scales –  Course I’m not talking about that horrendous moment you step on the scales!  Kitchen scales, to weigh our ingredients, is it even necessary? Today’s blog is to hopefully share my thoughts on how to gain confidence and learn to cook with your instincts.  So, it’s Sam’s birthday weekend and I will be […]


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Top tips for your Curry Masala Pots – Frying Onions

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

The most important part of a curry is the sauce. Frying onions for a curry sauce doesn’t require a great deal of skill, it requires patience, a little time and lots of love. When frying onions, take your time, chop your onions finely and cook them very well or if you like me, a home […]


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How to make Chapattis

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

Lajina demonstrates how to make chapattis in the comfort of your own kitchen. Quick and simple way of creating delicious chapattis.


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Featured in Homemaker Magazine

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

I was honoured to be featured in Homemaker Magazine, written by the artisan British designer Julie Dodsworth:   Julie Dodsworth is an artisan British designer who works and lives on her narrowboat Calamity Jane on the Grand Union Canal. England. She is known for her folky designs which take the heritage of the waterways with […]


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How to make a basic chicken curry

Friday, May 6th, 2016

See Lajina in action in this video of her creating a scrummy chicken curry using her Masala Magic Pots as a basis for the sauce.


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Chris Evans mentioned me on his show!

Friday, May 6th, 2016

Wow – I’m so excited. If you’d like to hear what he says about me you can listen below.


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About Me

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.

Browse my spices