People 'driving across the county' to new Indian street food van
- Credit: Khushee Street Food
A couple is bringing the taste of India across Norfolk in its new street food van that serves a completely vegan menu.
Simon Blackwell and Celine Baxter, who live in Toftwood, Dereham, first ordered a trailer to start Khushee Street Food in March 2020.
But as the nation went into lockdown, they had to put their plans on hold and decided to set up the Dereham Micro Bakery in the meantime after seeing a demand for fresh bread.
Miss Baxter's parents Stuart and Debbie run Norfolk company Ethnic Fusion Fine Foods, which makes frozen Indian meals, so Mr Blackwell used their kitchen unit to bake in, with the bread then delivered locally.
In November 2020, Khushee Street Food finally launched, with the bakery business then closing, and the first pitch was at Toftwood Social Club.
The menu veganised many of the popular dishes from Ethnic Fusion Fine Foods and the chefs for both are Mr Baxter, Mr Blackwell and his son Dylan, with Ricky and Jenny Saunders.
Since then, the business has gone from strength to strength and the dishes include a This Isn't Chicken tikka masala and a mock slow-roasted lamb masala.
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The Khushee wrap, with a naan filled with Bombay aloo and rajma masala, is also popular and 50p from each one goes to the Norwich Soup Movement.
Mr Blackwell, 41, said: "I've been a vegan for several years and when Celine and I met she gradually began replacing meat with vegan food.
"Neither of us saw a huge amount of vegan street food available and as someone that has lived off the sides menu for years just to make a meal, I wanted people to be able to choose anything off the menu."
So far, the van has been across Norfolk, to locations including Dereham, Wymondham, Swaffham, Hunstanton, Syderstone, Brancaster, Heacham, Norwich, Drayton, Harleston and Diss.
The couple also recently upgraded from a trailer to a van and are now looking to get their second one to meet demand.
Mr Blackwell added: "Whenever we go out we have such a loyal following, with self-confessed 'Khushee stalkers' who are driving across the county for dinner.
"When we were in Heacham the other night, some people drove from Norwich and planned their day off around it."