Leeds has always been full of innovators, who can turn something simple into something brilliant with hard work and imagination. At Leeds Love Affair we’re proud to interview so many of them over the last seven years and to keep bringing you new ones.

Unfortunately, and disgracefully on our part, we’ve managed to overlook one of these Leeds stars for the last six years! Manjit Kaur is known to many across the city for bringing her gorgeous Indian vegetarian homecooking to the masses of Yorkshire – and it’s high time we told you about it.

Growing from a micro home business to a cafe that shines as a jewel in our Kirkgate Market, Manjit’s Kitchen proves that with dedication and belief – and essential support from customers who choose to spend in the independent sector – small acorns can grow into mighty oaks. A must-try for any discerning diner in Leeds, find out what makes it so special…

Who are you and how did you get here?

My business started from home as a Twitter food delivery business. This developed into event catering, weddings, converting a horsebox into a food truck and then I got the opportunity to have a space running a cafe and bar in Leeds Market.

We’re really proud of how far we’ve come. This year we have made it to the finals of the BBC Food & Farming Awards (Best Streetfood Takeaway). From over 1000 we are down to the final three and go to Bristol for the awards later in June. We are also nominated for the British Street Food awards and are competing in the regional heats in Leeds.

What can customers expect from Manjit’s Kitchen?

Customers can expect great food and drink at a great price. We are trying to bring a positive change to the market and make Leeds Market one of the best in the world. Having an informal space where people can eat in the market is fantastic and has really brought a new dimension to the market.

What does Manjit’s Kitchen offer that other places in the city don’t?

Our staff team is mainly women… women who were homecooks prior to joining us. We’re embracing a style and type of cooking that often doesn’t make its way to the high street which means it’s something really different for people to try and get into.

What do you think makes Leeds so awesome? Where do you like to hang out?

People in Leeds really support stuff! Whenever we have done events or tried new things people come out and give it a go and this makes innovation and change possible in the city. There is a large community eager to try new things and support quality.

What are your favourite dishes? And what are the most popular?

We do the Thali plates at the market which are a healthy balanced meal for £5. We have also just brewed our own Beer with Ridgeside Brewery in Meanwood and now have it on keg at the cafe it’s called “Manjit’s Session IPA”.

In terms of the most popular it’s always the Chilli Paneer Wrap! A dish that has been with me for six years and we have taken it everywhere from Oakwood Market to Man City’s end of season party!

Finally, describe Manjit’s Kitchen in three words…

Leeds, women, food!