A PASSIONATE cook has moved from cooking authentic food in her beloved kitchen to opening a restaurant for all to enjoy.

Shrishti Rattan, 40, from Bicester, set up her business from home in 2017 but after quickly developing loyal customers who ordered take away food from her, she has now opened Mirch Masala in Crown Walk, Bicester.

Ms Rattan had always dreamed of opening her own permanent base to cook food which opened on Monday where customers can enjoy authentic Indian food.

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The cook said: "I've always been passionate about cooking. If someone needs food I will cook for them."

Her best friend Sapna Peenikal stepped in as her business partner and the pair cook a fusion of the North and South India culinary traditional menu as well as street food.

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The opening ceremony saw 30 people enjoy traditional food with a glass of champagne and some guests loved the food so much that they took food home with them.

Their cooking style is based on the traditional skills passed on from previous generations and some dishes on the menu include meat and vegetable curries, chicken biryani, lamb chops and samosas.

Customers who visited on Monday recommend the eatery.

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Shwetha Rajesh said in a Facebook review: "We visited the restaurant today and food was amazing and the ambience was lovely.

"The staff were so friendly and welcoming. If you are looking for authentic Indian food, you must visit this place - highly recommend it."

Laura House said: "I had lunch here today, what lovely owners and fabulous food. Will be returning."

Mirch Masala is based in a unit in Crown Walk which used to be a cafe offering cakes, baked potatoes and other baked treats for drop-in customers.

The previous owner decided to retire, closing the store and providing the pair with the opportunity to take over the lease and set up the restaurant.

Customers can eat in as it has a seating capacity of up to 15 people.

Ms Rattan said: "What makes our food unique is that it is all homemade, authentic food that you don't find in this country. There's lots of Indian street food that customers absolutely adore."

It also offers Indian breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as take away.

Ms Rattan has in the past helped local charities with events such as the Alexandra House of Joy, where she cooked for 100 people as part of a fundraiser.

Ms Rattan added: "We would love to support other charity events in the future too."

Mirch Masala is open from 11am to 8.00pm on Tuesdays to Thursdays, 11am to 10pmon Fridays, 10am to 10pm on Saturdays and 10am to 3pm on Sundays.