Samosa Lady prepares for Festival of Colour and to feed the homeless

Tina Chauhan-Challis, the Samosa Lady, is going to paint the streets of Ottery for Holi. Picture: Cl

Tina Chauhan-Challis, the Samosa Lady, is going to paint the streets of Ottery for Holi. Picture: Clarissa Place - Credit: Archant

The town’s ‘samosa lady’ has big plans to help the homeless and to hold a Festival of Colour in Ottery.

The Festival of Colour is being held to mark the start of spring and will allow people to paint their friends with colour.

As part of the celebration, Tina Chauhan-Challis, the ‘samosa lady’, will be inviting guests to enjoy a four course Gujarati Indian meal.

After dinner, they will then take to the streets and paint each other with brilliantly coloured powder paints.

The Festival of Colour, also known as Holi, is a Hindu spring festival that is celebrated predominantly in India and Nepal, but has since spread to the Western world.

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Holi celebrations start the night before with a ‘Holika Dahan’ where people gather in front of a bonfire. In the following morning, a festival of colours is held as people smear each other with colours, often with water guns or water balloons.

After dowsing friends and foes with colour, people then get to enjoy food and drink made for the occasion.

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The evening starts at 7.30pm on Friday, March 22, at the Samosa Lady, in Broad Street.

Tina has also worked with the Ottery Business Forum who has helped to provide her with fresh ingredients to cook for the homeless.

She will be travelling to the charity St Petrock’s in Exeter on Tuesday, March 19, to help feed those living on the street or have a vulnerable housing situation.

Otter Produce, The Silver Otter, Otter Nurseries, Cold Harbour Farm and Kings Manor Care Home are among those that have donated.

Tina, who claimed gold in 2018’s Taste of the West casual dining category, has become known for her charitable work and in November last year she attempted to break a Guinness World Record by cooking more than 500 samosas in 24 hours.

Cheers erupted in her Broad Street shop when she finished.

In total, she cooked 514 samosas from scratch with no help other than the washing up and donated the money raised to an Ottery cause.

Tina said: “Ottery made me the Samosa Lady. I had the first month’s rent paid and had nothing in here. They helped me when I opened the shop, everything in here has been given to me.”

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