Never underestimate the power of Masala Cheese Scones and a mug of hot tea. This casual comfort combo is my go-to for when I need a dose of nostalgia.
One bite of spicy cheese scone followed by a swift sip of sweet chai and I’m transported back to my childhood kitchen.
I grew up in a town in West Yorkshire. It was a picturesque place full of friendly people. My family made life-long friends there. We lived above our newsagents for many years before moving to a more spacious home.
His rendition of Hanuman Aarti will forever be etched in my mind as the soundtrack that fortifies mum’s Saturday morning Urad (black lentils). This experience bore and fostered my curiosity for cooking, from the age of just six or seven.
When we moved some years later, I remember my mum’s joy at having a modern kitchen where she could cook her heart out. She loved that her new kitchen was an ‘L’ shape with enough room for a table.
Sunday lunchtime Masala Poori, Bateta nu Shaak and Shrikhand may have tasted the same but now they were now enjoyed at the table, not on our laps. We ate every meal there as a family for the next eight years.
I learnt to cook a great deal in both kitchens but my sweetest memories came from that tiny kitchen above the corner shop.
Sunday afternoons would be spent browsing through well-thumbed cookbooks together, chatting about what we can cook up next. Mum’s collection of recipe books blew my curious mind. Never one to miss a trick, she would translate the ones written in Gujarati to English for me.
It was this encouragement, peppered with her sage advice that nurtured my passion. Everything grew from these moments we shared, from the picnic blanket on the floor, to the kitchen table.
With multiple lockdowns this past 12 months, having tea, scones and chats with her have been the thing I’ve missed the most. I’ll keep the Chai warm until we can do that again.
Aside from the basic flour, butter, milk and leavening agents, I add a blend of two cheeses, chilli, coriander, onions and garam masala.
I use my Homemade Garam Masala in these scones. The flavour you get from home-roasted and ground spices is wonderful. Indeed, if you don’t have time, you can use shop-bought garam masala.
These vegetarian Masala Cheese Scones can be ready in under 40 minutes, including prep time.
Serve them with chai, your favourite mango chutney or even alongside a bowl of tomato soup. They’re light, flaky and full of spiciness. Feel free to reduce or increase the amount of chillies as per your taste.
You’ll need to make a few swaps to the recipe below. Instead of butter, use any soft, plant-based spread (vegan block) of your choice. Don’t use oil.
Swap the milk in both the dough and for the milk wash for any unsweetened dairy-free milk.
Instead of the dairy cheese, use your favourite brand of vegan cheese. I love vegan Applewood Smoked Cheese.
If you’ve been following me for a long time, you’ll remember these Mini Mushroom & Feta Pies. This was one of the first times I made an eggwash without eggs and the results were perfect.
I usually mix together warm milk and a very small amount of ground turmeric. And there you have it. A perfect “eggwash”, minus the eggs.
Mix together warm coconut milk, a tiny pinch of turmeric and a drizzle of agave for a shiny finish. This is how I give my Vegan Curry Puffs a glorious egg-yellow colour.
Don’t worry, the agave in such a small amount won’t make your finished bake taste sweet.
This is my no-egg “eggwash” of choice in this recipe for Masala Cheese Scones. Not only does it give the flaky scones another dimension of warmth, it turns the tops so beautifully golden.
If you choose to add any seeds to the top, this will also help them stick.
Simply mix together English mustard powder and warm milk. Brush this all over the top of the scones before you bake them.
For the lightest and flakiest scones, pop your butter in the freezer for 30 minutes or so. Grate on the coarse side of a cheese grater to ensure it combines with the flour quickly and easily.
Like making shortcrust pastry, light and flaky scones require as little handling as possible. Every ingredient should be cold before you begin.
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