Step into a world of modernized Indian street food by visiting Chaska. Chaska is an Indian street food truck in Toronto with a menu that includes samosa sliders, kathi rolls, lassi and delectable dessert samosas.
Chaskas marketing and business development manager Faraz Malek, tells Toronto Food Trucks that the Chaska food truck began in 2019 and worked through challenges when the pandemic hit.
“With the pandemic, everything was essentially canceled. So we didn’t really roll out our food truck last year. This is the first year that we did the full truck for a full summer. When the Street Eats market asked if we wanted to be part of the Scarborough Town Centre location, we signed up for the full summer,” says Malek.
Chaska began as a brand in 2015 and opened their first restaurant location in 2016. The chain currently operates four locations and Chaska food truck is the fifth business venture.
“We wanted to expand into the food truck market because of all the festivals happening. Our truck is also very popular among the South Asian festivals. There really is a big subculture built around food trucks, so it was a way to expand our Indian street food,” says Malek.
Prepping for a day at Chaska food truck starts at Chaskas central kitchen in Mississauga. Many of the proteins and specialty drinks are made fresh and taken to the food truck around 10:30 a.m. This is when food truck staff arrives to ensure they have enough food to meet the demand of orders for the day.
The name ‘Chaska’ itself translates to obsession, which was inspired by the massive culture behind Indian street food markets.
The concept behind Chaska food truck is heavily influenced by family recipes and childhood memories CEO Naveen Seth experienced in India.
Seth grew up with road trips across different cities in India. Each street food market Seth visited in his childhood helped inspire the current dishes served at Chaska.
Chaskas samosa recipe comes from Seth’s late mother, who passed away a few years ago from Cancer.
“Before her passing, we took our chef team and they spent a full day in the kitchen with Naveen’s mom, learning how to make the samosas from her directly. She was extremely persistent on having them master the recipe,” says Malek.
Each and every recipe from Chaska comes from Seth himself or his late mother. Chaska considers their operation to be more than a business, but a family affair.
All of the meat at Chaska is Halal and raised without hormones. Some customer favourites right now include the kathi rolls, samosa sliders and lassi drinks. If you wanted to try a food truck exclusive, Chaska also has a new dessert samosa called the bussin brownie samosa that’s booming right now.
“The bussin brownie samosa is our first food truck exclusive menu item. It’s stuffed with brownie and topped with salted caramel, chocolate chips, icing sugar, pistachios, rabdi sauce and chocolate sauce,” says Malek.
“When people think of Indian food, they think of curries usually. We’re really straying away from curries and focused on food you can eat with your hands and have quickly for on the go,” says Malek.
Malek continues, “We wanted to build a brand that wasn’t full of heavy foods so people could come for lunch. With our Indian street food, we don’t focus on the heavy sauces, it’s more about flavour. So you can have lunch and go back to the office feeling comfortable rather than bloated or needing a nap.”
Chaska plans to expand their menu with more unique dishes including a samosa poutine!
Malek encourages aspiring food truck owners to remain passionate about the food they serve and to always give customers a great experience with friendly service.
Photos by: Victoria Malawi