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Diss' only authentic Indian deli, Chaat Man, offers an up-close experience



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A year since opening his delicatessen in Diss, Philip Mitchell has learned that the appetite for traditional, slow-cooked Indian cuisine is bigger than ever.

Last spring, the former window cleaner from Long Stratton broke new ground by bringing one of the UK’s first authentic Indian delis to the area.

The idea for the business was born 20 years ago after Mr Mitchell took a family holiday to Kerala, in south-west India, where he became enamoured with the local fare.

One year ago Philip Mitchell opened Chaat Man, an Indian deli at North Lopham Market Farmer's Market. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2022.
One year ago Philip Mitchell opened Chaat Man, an Indian deli at North Lopham Market Farmer's Market. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2022.

Adopting the methods he had learned abroad, his pop-up food stalls proved to be a much-welcome change from the conventional British Indian takeaways.

Operating out of Half Moon Farm, in Rushall, the 48-year-old also spends his Saturdays at Lopham Farmers’ Market, where queues snake around the village hall, with shoppers keen to get their hands on some of his authentic Indian cuisine.

“Things have gone really, really well,” said Mr Mitchell. “I’m really pleased with the way it’s gone.

“I’ve got a lot of loyal customers now, and I’m almost up to 2,000 followers on Facebook.

“People come into this deli because they love the food. They appreciate the authenticity, the integrity and the passion – it’s all about getting those three together.”

Such is his success, Mr Mitchell is now hosting events where people can go along to watch him put together his signature dishes so they can try to recreate them at home.

“I’ll be doing cooking demonstrations, going through six dishes, assembled in front of them,” he said.

“We’ll be going through each component, where people learn how to make all the different chutneys.

“And they get to try every different dish as soon as it’s assembled, of course.

“It’s very unique – there’s nowhere you can have real Indian street food without having to leave the country.

“It’s all authentic, because that’s what I fell in love with 20 years ago.”

Too book a place for Mr Mitchell’s next event in June, click here.



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