If you haven’t been lucky enough to get your hands on the world’s best curry toasties, then I suggest you cancel your plans this weekend and find out where Toast My Curry will be parked. Toast My Curry is a food truck providing the people of Perth with a different kind of curry experience, and I was lucky enough to chat to the food truck owner, Pankaj Sharma about his business venture.
Firstly, what a great concept. How did the idea come about?
It all began about two years ago. My wife started teaching Indian Curry Cooking Lesson’s while she was trying to find a job, and we noticed that a lot of people loved the flavours we were creating. We wanted to do something with this, but also wanted to stay away from the typical ‘curry and rice’ thing. Full disclosure – we are not chefs. The recipes we use are all home recipes and have been passed through generations within our families.
That explains why they taste so good! So how did the toastie aspect come into it?
Back in Mumbai, toasted sandwiches are a common street food, but the fillings used in these toasties are more traditional – things like fresh vegetables and cheeses. One day while washing the dishes after a curry night at our house, we thought, why not use the toasted sandwich aspect, but instead of having a cheese/vegetable filling, we use a curry filling. And that’s essentially how the idea of Toast My Curry started. After six months of making traditional toasties, we decided to introduce Naastie’s, where regular bread is substituted for naan bread, creating an authentic Indian food experience.
My mouth is salivating!! So what made you take it to the streets in a food truck?
It was after we thought of this idea, we called in five of our closest friends (all Australian) and they all loved the concept. Not too long after that that I decided to do this full time. Since we started almost two years ago, we’ve done almost 150 events around Perth and are ready for 150 more!
Tell us about the Curry Karma aspect?
When we started this venture, our mission was how could we use the power of food to motivate kids around the world. We found that children that aren’t fortunate enough to have food see the donation of food as a motivation to study. So after some research, we decided that we would match every sale of a curry toastie with one donation. In the last year and a half we have managed to donate more than 10,500 curries to children less fortunate than us. It’s called Curry Karma and eventually we want to spread this around the world.
Wow, 10,500 curries, that’s amazing work!! So if you had to pick one of your favourite curry toasties, what would it be?
I’ll pick two. For a meat option I’d have to pick the Chicken Vindaloo, which is not hot at all. But for a vegetarian option it would have to be the Bombay Marsala, which is basically the Indian version of mashed potato cooked in light spices with coriander chutney and cheese, toasted in naan bread and topped with a samosa.