Have you been enjoying your afternoon tea with friends and family? I have been!
This monsoon the rains have been really heavy and incessant. Greens generally disappear from the shelves in this season as they spoil in less than a day. Coriander becomes elusive and very expensive. The Big Apple stores, thankfully, stock it in sufficient quantity. But this Friday when I went to restock in the evening they were out and I couldn’t make the all-time tea-time Indian favourite – chutney sandwiches. When we were kids no birthday party was complete without these. Instead, I had to settle for the other favourite – cucumber, tomato, and Amul cheese sandwiches! I brewed a large pot of tea just for myself (TH is a teatotaler), prepared the sandwiches (not all that dainty, it wasn’t an English tea after all) and had myself a jolly good time.
Today, my parents dropped by for lunch. I served them a most delicious vegetarian lunch which included Kerala-style bittergourds cooked in coconut milk with sour mango (this is now one of my favourite ways to cook karela!), a Maharashtrain style stir-fried bhindi (okra split along the length into two, and stir fried in oil tempered with rai seeds, hing, turmeric, and red chilli powder), pumpkin kootu (using Bee and Jai’s recipe for kootu podi), served with roti and rice. My parents thoroughly enjoyed their meal! As did I. Awesome. Even if I say so myself.
After a brief siesta we needed the afternoon cup. I served it with fruity scones. It was my first attempt at making scones and they turned out rather well. They were light, with a barely crusty bottom. Split, smothered with homemade jam (I served with the quince marmalade as well as this season’s mango jam) they were the perfect accompaniment to our afternoon tea! I recommend them wholeheartedly!
(Adapted from this Fruit Scones recipe)
2 C maida (or all purpose flour)
3 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 C refined oil (such as peanut oil)
1/4 C+ chopped prunes
50ml dahi (Greek yoghurt)
Preheat oven to Gas Mark 8. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. add oil and mix it in using your fingers. Stir in the chopped fruit. Using a fork beat together the yoghurt and milk. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the mixed milk and yoghurt. Knead with a light hand till the dough barely sticks together. Turn onto a floured surface and roll into a 2cm thick disc. Push the edges to form a near-perfect disc. Cut into triangles (I cut 12 pieces). Glaze with beaten egg if you want a shiny finish; I usually skip this step as I don’t know what to do with the leftover egg (throwing edible food is never an option with me!). Quickly transfer to the baking sheet and bake in the upper side of the oven for 10-12 minutes till risen and beginning to brown.
Cool and serve with jam and malai (clotted cream). Since there is no sugar in this recipe, you needn’t feel too guilty about lathering on the jam or marmalade! Don’t forget the tea!
What are you, my dear friends, bringing to the Afternoon Tea? (On request, the deadline has now been extended to 15th Sept. Remember, this is not like the CWG Projects deadline, and will not be extended again! )