Owner of UK's first vegan Indian takeaway: 'I have shaken the entire industry'

Ash with his Hungry Beast team on Kingsland Road. 

Ash with his Hungry Beast team on Kingsland Road. - Credit: Hungry Beast Vegan Indian Kitchen

A Hackney vegan curry pioneer built a successful take-away restaurant in Dalston during the pandemic, which has proven popular with locals, celebrities and footballers. 

Musleh Ahmed, known by customers as Ash, says his was the first 100 per cent vegan curry takeaway in Britain, when he set up Hungry Beast Vegan Indian Kitchen on Kingsland Road in 2019. 

Ash told the Gazette: "I've got something so unique and I have shaken the entire curry industry."

The Hackney cook converted his vegan burgers and salad joint into a plant-based curry house just as the pandemic struck in February last year.

He said it has been a "raving success" since, with frequent collections from curry-lovers in Kent and Dorset, as well as orders from customers as far away as Macclesfield near Manchester. 

Hungry Beast Vegan Indian Kitchen spread.

Hungry Beast Vegan Indian Kitchen is the only fully vegan indian take-away in Hackney. - Credit: Hungry Beast Vegan Indian Kitchen


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Ash added: "At the start of it everyone was making fun of me and mocking me but one year down the line I have got really famous influential people in and out of my takeaway."

The chef said he could not name names but added that he had dropped his dishes off at movie sets and stadiums. 

The curry house has an open kitchen so customers picking up their orders can watch food being prepared. 

The curry house has an open kitchen so customers picking up their orders can watch food being freshly prepared. - Credit: Hungry Beast Vegan Indian Kitchen

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He added: "When Boris uncle told us to close down and sit at home, I decided to open up and come out for work."

Hungry Beast also offered up thousands of meals to the homeless during the pandemic. 

Ash said: "Throughout the entire lockdown we had an open kitchen for the homeless. Everyone would line up and pick up their free food and be on their way.

Hungry Beast onion bhaji. 

Hungry Beast onion bhaji. - Credit: Hungry Beast Vegan Indian Kitchen

"I'm fortunate enough to have a roof over my head, have a business and I could give back, but there is a lot of people who don’t have anything."

Hungry Beast offers dishes with plant-based chicken and prawn meals which Ash has been working on "for a long time". 

He added: "It has been many years in the making. I have been working on the menu and had to go about getting the authentic dishes right.

"You know the dishes like the jalfrezis, masalas and the kormas, doing that without the dairy and without the meat and chicken - it takes a lot of work." 

Mango and other fruit Lassi have proved a popular treat during the recent heat wave. 

Mango and other fruit Lassi have proved a popular treat during the recent heat wave. - Credit: Hungry Beast Vegan Indian Kitchen

After growing up in Hackney, Ash hopes to inspire young cooks in the borough to break boundaries and get passionate about food. 

Learn more at www.hungry-beast.co.uk


Hungry Beast Vegan Indian Kitchen dish.

Ash transformed his vegan burger and salad joint into a plant-based curry house last year, as the pandemic struck. - Credit: Hungry Beast Vegan Indian Kitchen


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