Chaska translates to "obsession," referring to the infatuation with Indian street food represented on the menu.
This is a Chaska Express located in a food court, the original 2000-square-foot dine-in Chaska situated in Mississauga.
The stall is designed to look like a food truck, from the colourful bandanas worn by the staff to horns that are honked when your order is ready.
A build-your-own concept entails selecting a kathi roll, salad bowl or grill plate, then a protein, then your choice of a scratch dressing or curry sauce in ascending spice levels for salad or rice bowls.
Rice bowls are $9.99 with veg proteins, $11.99 with non-veggie proteins, with a choice between white or brown basmati rice.
Decent-sized chunks of mint chicken are herbaceous, though the main flavour that comes through is the makhani-like medium curry sauce. All rice bowls come topped with kachumber salad, pappadum and a mint yogurt that can be omitted for vegans.
Kathi rolls are $7.99 with veg proteins, $8.99 for non-veg, and you can opt to get them with or without egg. Huge chunks of soft, rich paneer tikka make up for the creaminess and richness of egg if you choose to go without it.
Choose lamb as your protein for anything at a dollar upcharge. All kathi rolls are stuffed with crunchy, fragrant bell pepper, cabbage, red onion, coriander, and mint sauce. The rolls themselves are a nice balance between soft and crispy, with just the right amount of greasiness.
Bhalla papdi chaat ($7.99) is one of around half a dozen side dishes, a collision of textures composed of scratch spiced lentil dumplings, papri wafers, chickpea and potato, topped with pomegranate seeds and drizzled with yogurt, tamarind sauce and mint chutney.
Samosa sliders ($8.99) are just what they sound like, veggie samosas filled with scratch-made potato and pea on buns from an Indian bakery with lots of sweet, messy tamarind sauce and shredded cabbage. Again, there are extreme texture combinations of soft, crunchy, flaky and crispy.
They also retail some takeaway items like jarred jackfruit pickle, almond chickee and puffed lotus seeds.
Kulfi ($3.49) in a pistachio flavour is also made from scratch, dense creaminess providing a luscious backdrop for the crunch and toastiness of the nuts.
They do both mango and rose lassi as well as a “panna mango drink” (all $4.99) that’s sort of like a dairy-free mango lassi with toasted cumin seeds.
All meats here are halal, chicken is free-run and lamb is grass-fed.