Sydney, NS – The butter chicken poutine sold at Ammy’s Takeout was created by accident.
Owner Sajive Kochhar tells the story while sitting at one of the picnic tables of the food truck, which specializes in Indian street food.
While working at the counter at Caper Crepes, a fast-food kiosk he opened at Cape Breton University in 2017, a hockey player asked Kochar if he served chicken poutine.
He didn’t, but there was butter chicken broth and french fries. Kochar said the hockey player, in college for a tournament, had never tried butter chicken before.
“The guy couldn’t stop eating it,” Kuchar said. “He loved it.” “He was making comments to everyone around him. So we figured, well, we should make butter chicken poutine.”
Once added to the Caper Crepes menu, butter chicken poutine quickly became a favorite of customers.
And now it’s also a favorite in Kochhar’s newest ready-to-eat company, Ammy’s Takeout food truck, which he opened with his partner Amritpal (Amy) Singh, a longtime Caper Crepe employee.
Singh, from Punjab, India, moved to Cape Breton to attend university in 2017; That same year Kochhar Caper Crepes opened in CBU.
“I was making crepes at the (Cape Breton) farmers market. When I saw the Indian students coming, I wanted to open a kiosk at the university because I knew, traditionally, Indian students—they prefer Indian food, Kochar said.
Kochhar also wanted to provide employment opportunities for Indian students and knew that they would already have knowledge of authentic Indian cuisine.
“It (the food) will be what they will eat and they will feel at home,” he said. “I know Indian students are hardworking and studying. I wanted to let them have Indian food and not have the burden of cooking at home.”
One of the first hires in 2017, Singh has proven to be a hardworking worker who gets along well with Kochhar.
Singh, who then enrolled in a petroleum engineering program at CBU University, soon realized that he loved working in the kitchen.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused the CBU campus to close in mid-March 2020 and Caper Crepes has yet to open.
After graduating, Singh decided to partner with Kochhar and create a food truck that offers all Indian menu items from Caper Crepes and more.
“We’ve had a lot of requests from people,” Singh said, sitting next to Kochhar at the picnic table in front of the bright yellow food truck.
“They wanted us to open again, but unfortunately we weren’t able to because of COVID-19. That’s why we decided to open here.”
Meals are prepared to order at Ammy’s Restaurant on Reeves Street, one entrance from the Schwartz Furniture car park. If you order samosas, for example, the dough is rolled up and stuffed before frying and is not simply reheated.
This means that it takes approximately 20-25 minutes per order and soon-to-be co-owners recommend calling in your order for pick-up.
“The business has been really good, given the fact that we opened in the middle of winter,” Singh said from the moment Ammy’s Takeout opened shop in February.
“We did really well,” Kochar added. “Our sales were $20,000 in the first month.”
Located in a more central location, Ammy’s Takeout has strong regular customers, including students from India and people who live and work in the area.
Future plans include reopening Caper Crepes when possible and adding another food truck in the downtown Sydney area.
Ammy’s Takeout has a Facebook page and you can reach them by phone at 902-564-0137.